I am an Associate Professor at the Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta (UoM). I have received the Ph.D. degree in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh in 2006. Prior to joining the Institute of Digital Games, UoM, in 2012 I was an Associate Professor at the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen. I do research at the crossroads of artificial intelligence, computational creativity, affective computing, advanced game technology, and human-computer interaction. I pursue research concepts such as user experience modeling and procedural content generation for the design of personalized interactive systems for entertainment, education, training and health. I have published over 180 journal and conference papers in the aforementioned fields. My research has been supported by numerous national and European grants and has appeared in Science Magazine and New Scientist among other venues. I am currently an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games. I have been the General Chair of key conferences in the area of game artificial intelligence (IEEE CIG 2010) and games research (FDG 2013).
Artificial Intelligence, Game AI, User Modeling, Affective Computing, Procedural Content Generation, Computational Creativity, Preference Learning, Player Experience Modeling, Evolutionary Computation, Neural Networks
Awards and Honours (Selected)
IEEE CIS Outstanding Paper Award, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games for the paper Crowdsourcing the Aesthetics of Platform Games.
Most Influential Paper Award, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, for the paper Experience-Driven Procedural Content Generation. The award was presented at the Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction Conference, 2015.
European Learning Game Award by the Games and Learning Alliance (GALA) Network of Excellence for the Village Voices Game (funded by the SIREN project), 2013.
Current and Forthcoming Activities (Selected)
Co-Author of the Artificial Intelligence and Games textbook, to be published by Springer, 2017.
Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Intelligence in Serious Games, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
Guest Editor of the Special Issue on AI-based and AI-assisted Game Design, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
New Horizon 2020 research project funded: ENVISAGE: ENhance VIrtual learning Spaces using Applied Gaming in Education: 2017-2019
New Erasmus+ research project funded: eCrisis: Europe in Crisis : 2016-2019
Co-Editor of Emotion in Games: Theory and Praxis, Springer, 2016.
Program Chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Games Conference, Santorini, Greece, 2016
New Horizon 2020 research project funded: CrossCult: Empowering reuse of digital cultural heritage in context-aware crosscuts of European history: 2016-2019
New ESF (National funded; Reach High Scheme) research project funded: AutoSemanticGame: Autonomous Semantic Game Generators: 2016-2019
New FP7 Marie Curie CIG research project funded: AutoGameDesign: Autonomous Computational Game Creators: 2014-2018
Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing
Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
Assistant Chair of the IEEE Task force on Player Modeling, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society
Past Activities (Selected)
FP7-ICT research project completed: C2Learn: Creative Emotional Reasoning Computational Tools Fostering Co-Creativity in Learning Processes: 2012-2015
FP7-ICT research project completed: ILearnRW: Integrated Intelligent Learning Environment for Reading and Writing : 2012-2015
Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Emotion in Games, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing
Chair of the IEEE Task force on Player Satisfaction Modeling, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (2007-2013)
General Chair of the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) Conference, Chania, Greece, May 2013
Guest Editor of the Special Issue on Computational Aesthetics in Games, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games
RTI research project completed: Games for Health: 2010-2012
FP7-ICT research project completed: Social games for conflIct REsolution based on natural iNteraction (SIREN): 2010-2013
FTP research project completed: Adaptive Game Content using Computational Intelligence (AGameComIn): 2009-2012
Tutorials and Special Sessions Chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Games Conference, Granada, 2012
Co-Organizer of the ACII 2011 Emotion in Games (EmoGames) Workshop, Oct-9, Memphis, USA.
Co-Organizer of the ICMI 2011 AFFINE Workshop, November, Alicante, Spain.
Tutorials and Special Sessions Chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence and Games Conference, Seoul, 2011
Chair of the EvoGames event of the EvoStar 2011 conference, Torino, Italy, April 2011
Tutorials Chair of the IEEE Games Innovation Conference, Hong Kong, December 2010
General Chair of the IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 2010
Chair of the EvoGames event of the EvoStar 2010 conference, Istanbul, Turkey, April 2010
Sponsorship Chair of the IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games, Milan, Italy, September 2009
Chair of the Special Session on Player Satisfaction – IEEE Symposium on Computational
Intelligence and Games, Perth, Australia, December 15-18, 2008
Chair of AIIDE’07 Workshop on Optimizing Player Satisfaction, Stanford University, California, June 6-8, 2007
Chair of SAB’06 Workshop on Adaptive Approaches for Optimizing Player Satisfaction in Computer and Physical Games, Rome, Italy, October 1, 2006