Description of the IDtension Project

Here is a quick outline of the IDtension system. Complete descriptions are available in the publications.

World of the story Audience model
Narrative logic Narrative sequencer


We aim at building a generator of dramatic actions, capable of interacting with the audience.

Therefore, the system is based on a combination of several theories of narrative.

From the structuralist theory (C. Bremond, T. Todorov, A. Greimas, etc.), we build a narrative logic, able to produce a set of possible actions at a given time. The narrative logic manipulates the following elements in the world of the story:

  • Goals: Some states in the world of the story that characters want to reach
  • Tasks: Concrete activities which lead to the goal
  • Obstacles: practical elements in the world of the story which make some tasks impossible
  • Actions: what characters do, including information transmission, influences, delegations, task performance, sanctions, etc.
  • Characters: entities which have goals and perform actions

From pragmatics based theories (J.-M. Adams, U. Eco) we base our architecture on a dynamic audience model (or user model). The successive dramatic actions are organized by the narrative sequencer according to a simulated model of the user. For example, this model is responsible for expressing the need for surprise or conflict, which then triggers a corresponding action, if available. Current needs are:

  • Ethical consistency
  • Motivational consistency
  • Relevance
  • Complexity
  • Characterization
  • Conflict

Ethical consistency and conflict are based on the central concept of values. Values are thematic axes according to which each task is evaluated: honesty, friendship, family, fraternity, etc. They are stored in the audience model.

The theatre is responsible for representing the actions to the user, as well as managing the interaction with the user.