Manipulating narrative salience in interactive stories using indexter's pairwise event salience hypothesis

Rachelyn Farrell, Stephen G. Ware, Lewis J. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The salience of a narrative event is defined as the ease with which an audience member can recall that past event. This paper describes a series of experiments investigating the use of salience as a predictor of player behavior in interactive narrative scenarios. We utilize Indexter, a plan-based model of narrative for reasoning about salience. Indexter defines a mapping of five event indices identified by cognitive science research onto narrative planning event structures. The indices-protagonist, time, space, causality, and intentionality-correspond to the “who, when, where, how, and why” of a narrative event, and represent dimensions by which events can be linked in short-term memory. We first evaluate Indexter's claim that it can effectively model the salience of past events in a player's mind. Next, we demonstrate that salience can be used to predict players' choices for endings in an interactive story, and finally, we demonstrate that the same technique can be applied to influence players to choose certain endings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2905230
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Games
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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