Strategic Retrieval of Tutorial Stories

R. Burke

This paper describes SPIEL, a system for retrieving and presenting tutorial stories for students who are using a social simulation to learn social skills. SPIEL’s task is primarily retrieval, but it requires techniques from case-based reasoning to perform it. SPIEL’s stories are stored in video form, which prevents the use of text-based processing or indexing. Instead of using a story’s text, SPIEL uses complex structured indices intended to represent what the story is about. SPIEL’s tutoring task also differs from strict retrieval because it is not responding to a user’s request for information. The system monitors the student’s actions in a simulated world and brings up relevant stories in the course of that interaction. The standard notion of query does not apply. In its place, SPIEL has a system of storytelling strategies that define what kinds of stories are appropriate at what times. Each strategy makes its own comparison between story and situation, determinations that include but are not limited to assessments of similarity.

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