Stromberg: Final Description and Results

One of the main goals of the Stromberg team's project is to generate stories that portray a typical villain as the protagonist and the villain's typical opponent as the antagonist. For example, the story could be about Darth Vader and his conflict and interactions with Yoda. The second goal is to generate that story based on a flow of sentiments. For example, the story could start neutral, then go bad for the protagonist, then the protagonist bounces back and things end happy for him/her. This can roughly simulate certain story archs, for example, an underdog story could start out bad for the protagonist, but then later the protagonist overcomes the obstacles and is happy. Conversely, a tragedy could start out great, but then end on a bad note.

The project development followed several stages which were obtained by dividing the initial task as follows:

  1. Choosing 2 characters which should be the protagonist/antagonist of our story and attempting to add some content to the preamble by providing some short descriptions about these characters.

By using the tagged NOC file where a negative, neutral, or positive connotation was given to every character in a separate "Sentiment" column, we could select a positive and a negative character among which a confrontation should take place in mid-action. The protagonist was selected randomly among the typical villains (negatively tagged sentiment) and the antagonist was selected from one of the protagonist's opponents (e.g., Voldemort --> Harry Potter).

We used the NOC data files containing the positive and negative traits of the characters to enrich the preamble content. We also emphasized the positive and negative treats of each character by adding in the preamble some general superlatives specific to evil or good extracted from superlatives good bad. xslx file.

  1. The story line development was created with the intent of following a sentiment curve which is given through parameters indicating the sentiment intensity which should be expressed through the characters actions. For example the sentiment flow: [0,-1,0,1,2] starts out neutral, next action is bad for the protagonist, then a neutral action, then a positive action, and finally ends very positively for the protagonist. The actions in the scalectrix database were annotated to indicate what actions are good for both the protagonist and the antagonist so that we could choose the appropriate action with the correct sentiment.

We randomly pick a starting action based on the first sentiment in the list. Subsequent actions follow the midpoint triples in the scalectrix data and constrained to match the sentiment value. In the situation where the program cannot return a midpoint result for a specific sentiment by filtering the required sentiment, we ignored the midpoint sequence and randomly pick an action that matches the sentiment. The code also gives the opportunity to chose the story line length by providing the string of sentiment values.

The following are some generated stories:

Sentiment Flow: 0,-1,0,1,2

This is a story about John Wilkes Booth, a principled, committed guy.
This is also a story about Abraham Lincoln, a stern, ugly, and the most careless male ever seen.
Abraham Lincoln's genes - - good and bad - - flowed in John Wilkes Booth's veins.
The ghost of Abraham Lincoln came back to haunt John Wilkes Booth.
Abraham Lincoln forgave all of John Wilkes Booth's transgressions.
John Wilkes Booth enjoyed Abraham Lincoln's trust.
Thereafter John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln were utterly inseparable; wherever Abraham Lincoln went John Wilkes Booth was sure to follow.

This is a story about Boba Fett, an intrepid, capable, single guy.
This is also a story about Luke Skywalker, a pious and the most awful bastard ever seen.
Boba Fett had pushed Luke Skywalker to the very limit with its behaviour.
Boba Fett begged Luke Skywalker's forgiveness.
Boba Fett used blackmail to manipulate Luke Skywalker.
Boba Fett intimidated Luke Skywalker with threats of violence.
Will romance flourish for Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker? Does a happy marriage beckon for Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker? Will Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker be star-crossed lovers or will love prevail?.

Sentiment Flow: 0,1,0,-1,-2

This is a story about Henry Kissinger, a shrewd, witty male.
This is also a story about Christopher Hitchens, an argumentative, rude and horniest male ever seen.
One thing was sure: Christopher Hitchens needed looking after.
Henry Kissinger was not the fool that Christopher Hitchens imagined.
Christopher Hitchens pursued Henry Kissinger relentlessly.
Christopher Hitchens gave Henry Kissinger a very long lecture.
Henry Kissinger 's dying words to Christopher Hitchens were "it is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done".

This is a story about Mr. Edward Hyde, a powerful, single man.
This is also a story about Dr. Henry Jekyll, a shy, schizophrenic and filthiest bastard ever seen.
Mr. Edward Hyde would earn extra income by posing for artists.
Dr. Henry Jekyll took a bite out of Mr. Edward Hyde.
Dr. Henry Jekyll's boring voice sent Mr. Edward Hyde to sleep.
Dr. Henry Jekyll threatened to kill Mr. Edward Hyde.
Dr. Henry Jekyll's tearful testimony ensured Mr. Edward Hyde served hard time for the assault.

Sentiment Flow: 0,0,0,0,0

This is a story about Sylvester the Cat, a persistent, cunning, single man
This is also a story about Tweety Pie, a big-headed, puny and fiercest female ever seen.
Sylvester the Cat needed goods and Tweety Pie needed to shift its product fast.
Sylvester the Cat was just a pawn in Tweety Pie 's schemes.
Tweety Pie treated Sylvester the Cat as a pliable pawn.
Tweety Pie flattered and fawned over Sylvester the Cat.
Well Tweety Pie wo n't be bouncing back from that in a hurry.

This is a story about Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal, a surprisingly-well-built, dating male
This is also a story about Principal Seymour Skinner, a bureaucratic, strict and bitchiest male ever seen.
Principal Seymour Skinner was a cause that Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal could get behind.
Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal let down Principal Seymour Skinner big time.
Principal Seymour Skinner became an obedient servant of Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal.
Principal Seymour Skinner figured out what Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal was up to.
Thereafter Principal Seymour Skinner was a lifelong mentor to Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal; though Groundskeeper Willie MacDougal was not always wise enough to take its advice.

Source Files:

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