Pac-Man is an interesting challenge for AI that is still unsolved. Ms Pac-Man in particular poses a significant problem as the ghosts in this version are non-deterministic. The game combines longer-term reasoning for example path-planning with short-term reaction to threats in order to survive.

It’s an active thread in the research community, and we use the toolkits provided by Lucas et al in order to showcase these types of AI problems, as well as allow students to explore agent design in this type of environment with a view to participating in the many competitions that the research community organises in an effort to overcome these challenges.