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FIGURE 16.5 The program in Fig. 16.4 creates this environment.
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it is when hunger becomes a motivating factor. Sometimes a robot develops the habit of pacing back and forth a few times before it actually eats (I am still unsure how this behavior develops). The important point here is that the robot does learn, and the more it learns the faster it learns. It takes a relatively long time before the robot starts to look remotely intelligent. After the good memory has expanded to 40 or 50 items, though, you will see an amazing difference. As long as no needs have reached their threshold (the red line), the robot will be content to explore its environment. However, when a need becomes a motivator, the mature robot shows its intelligence and quickly makes its way to the area in the environment that can satisfy that need.
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16.4.2 DISPLAYING THE ROBOT S ACTIONS The area on the lower-right side of the screen shows what basic action the robot is executing as summarized in Fig. 16.6.
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Robot eats if it finds food when hungry. Robot sleeps if it finds a warm spot when sleepy. Robot plays if it finds the activity area when bored. Robot randomly explores when needs are low. The robot is saving something to its memory. The robot has felt pain and is backing away from the source. The robot is searching its memory or responding to what was found.
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FIGURE 16.6
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The robot has seven basic actions it can take.
16.4.3 UNDERSTANDING THE CODE The subroutines hierarchy chart is shown in Fig. 16.7. The MainProgram displays instructions to the user by calling the DisplayInstructions subroutine then sets up the environment by calling the InitializeSimulation routine. If the user has indicated that the memory accumulated and saved from the last time the simulation was executed is to be used (by pressing Cancel or Esc instead of OK or Enter), the subroutine RestoreMemory is called to reload the robot s memory. Finally, ComeToLife is executed to initiate the simulation. Above the MainProgram label there is a set of de nitions for constants and variables that are used throughout the program. 16.4.3.1 DisplayInstructions This subroutine is similar to what you have seen in previous chapters. The only point to note is the fact that the variable Key is assigned the return value from the function MsgBox(). The value will be zero if Cancel or Esc was pressed and one if OK or Enter was pressed. Key is checked in the MainProgram to decide whether or not to load the memory from previous runs (it is loaded if Cancel or Esc is pressed). 16.4.3.2 InitializeSimulation This subroutine draws the environment and sets up the necessary arrays and other variables. The only point of note in this subroutine is the use of the multiple assignment construct. Notice the use of the character \ to allow for placing
MainProgram
DisplayInstructions
InitializeSimulation
RestoreMemory
ComeToLife
DoMovement
CheckMemory
CheckBadList
CheckStatus DisplayAction DispStatusMeter
FIGURE 16.7
Subroutines hierarchy chart.
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multiple assignment statements on the same line. This makes for more compact code. There is no other advantage (see Sec. B.3 for more details). 16.4.3.3 ComeToLife This routine calls CheckMemory to compare the robot s current need and position against its good memory. If a match is found, the variable HaveResponse points to the matching memory position. If HaveResponse is non-zero, the display will show that the robot is responding to memory and the desired movement is retrieved from memory and stored in the variable Movement. The subroutine DoMovement is then called to actually perform the movement. DoMovement will be discussed later. If there are no good memories associated with the robot s current state, the software chooses a random movement (0 to 3 for north to west). The if-statement associated with this random choice is only performed 60 percent of the time. This means that 40 percent of the time the robot repeats its last movement creating a tendency to continue in the same direction. The software checks to see if the random movement chosen is in the bad memory. If it is not, DoMovement is called to actually perform the movement and set the variable Status to PAIN or PLEASURE if that situation occurred because of the movement. If the robot experiences pain, the current state and movement are saved to the bad memory. If the robot experiences pleasure, the current state and movement are saved to the good memory if they have not been saved sometime in the past. Notice that no check is made to see if the painful event is already in memory because the robot will never repeat painful movements (contrast this fact with real human behavior, also see Exercise 4). The format and content of the robot s memory entries can be helpful when trying to understand the overall operation of this program. A bad-list entry contains only two items, the current cell number (specifying a region of the screen) and the action taken. For example, lets assume the entry in the bad memory was 6, 0. This would mean that when the robot was in cell six and made movement zero (north) it felt pain. If the robot is ever in cell six again and randomly chooses to move north then it will choose some other action. The entries for the good memory contain the current cell number, the action taken, and the robot s emotional state at the time the memory was recorded. This emotional state consists of a single number specifying if the robot was being motivated by hunger, sleep, or boredom. Let s look at an example memory entry of 1, 3, 2. This would mean that at some point in the past, the robot was in cell three and hungry (1 eat). Furthermore we know that under these circumstances, when the robot moved south (2), the robot felt pleasure. Consequently, anytime the robot is hungry and in cell three it will know that moving south will eventually lead to pleasure. The robot may not nd food immediately when it moves south because the memory entry may have been formed not because it found food but because its action (in this example, moving south) caused it to encounter a previously memorized situation that was associated with the pleasures of food. Let s see how this complex sounding situation controls the robot s behavior. The rst time the hungry robot randomly nds food, the action it performed to get there is recorded on the good list. Remember, this memory entry contains information about the robot s position (cell number) and its motivational need. Since this entry is on the good list, if the robot is hungry in the future and randomly chooses an action that moves it into this state, then the new action will also be interpreted as a pleasurable experience. Over time,
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