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Chapter 9. Specifications and Knowledge Representation

Key Topics

The preceding chapter is an example of establishing a specification for movement. Because formalizing the problem in this fashion is so important, this process is discussed more in this chapter.

The analysis and understanding phases deal with intuitive descriptions. In contrast, the specification phase finds a way to represent the same concepts in either a formal notation or programming data structures. Most game programmers will deal with this phase subconsciously, but being aware of this will give us a huge advantage when AI development needs to scale up.

This chapter describes the specification process, as well as the theory behind knowledge representation and how it applies to game development. This chapter covers the following topics:

  • What is meant by specifications in AI, using a procedural approach

  • The importance of knowledge representation (KR) and its most important aspects

  • The relevant formalisms (that is, KR languages) that AI research has invented

  • An outline of each stage involved in the specification process and how KR fits in

  • The benefits of the specification phase, and how it fits into the development process

Despite not being purely theoretical or practical, this lesson is one of the most important of this book. Insights into KR will not only make us better AI engineers, but also have direct implications into game programming.

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