Governing Narrative Events With Institutional Norms

Authors Matt Thompson, Julian Padget, Steve Battle

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Matt Thompson
Julian Padget
Steve Battle

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Matt Thompson, Julian Padget, and Steve Battle. Governing Narrative Events With Institutional Norms. In 6th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative (CMN 2015). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 45, pp. 142-151, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2015)


A narrative world can be viewed as a form of society in which characters follow a set of social norms whose collective function is to guide the characters through (the creation of) a story arc and reach some conclusion. By modelling the rules of a narrative using norms, we can govern the actions of agents that act out the characters in a story. Agents are given sets of permitted actions and obligations to fulfil based on their and the story’s current situation. However, the decision to conform to these expectations is ultimately left to the agent. This means that the characters have control over fine-grained elements of the story, resulting in a more flexible and dynamic narrative experience. This would allow the creator of an interactive narrative to specify only the general structure of a story, leaving the details to the agents. We illustrate a particular realisation of this vision using a formalization of Propp’s morphology in a normative social framework, with belief-desire-intention agents playing the characters.
  • institutions
  • norms
  • narrative
  • agents


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