Jonathan Schaeffer

Research Interests

Heuristic Search

I am interested in anything to do with heuristic search (such as single-agent (A*) and two-player (alpha-beta) search).

  • Author of the program Chinook, the World Man-Machine Checkers Champion. Chinook has been recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records as the first computer to win a human world championship in any game. In 2007, we announced that checkers was solved: perfect play leads to a draw.
  • We have developed strong poker-playing programs as part of our research into decision making in imperfect information domains. The work has been commercialize (Poker Academy -- poker).
  • We are currently working on building world-class programs for a number of games.
  • General game playing (a program that can learn to play a game well, given only the set of rules).

    Commercial Game AI

    We have branched out to work on commercial games with our partners Electronic Arts and BioWare. Some of the problems we are looking at are AI scripting, pathfinding, learning, and testing. We have applied our work to role-playing games, sports games and real-time strategy games.

    [University of Alberta] 
    University of Alberta 
    [Department of Computing Science] 
    Computing Science