University of Southern California
Narrative Group USC Institute for Creative Technologies

Project: Authoring Realistic Learning Environments with Stories (ARLES)

A project of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, 11/1/2011 to 10/30/2013.


Many classroom instructors and tutors draw from their own experiences when training complex cognitive skills, telling stories of their own successes and failures to illustrate specific points or to ensure memorable impact. In immersive training environments for the military, elements of stories of real-world experience are interwoven into fictional training scenarios designed to give trainees memorable (simulated) experiences of their own. To succeed in the authoring of effective scenarios, training developers need easy access to large repositories of nonfiction narratives told by real-world practitioners.

Research Objective

Can we automate the collection and organization of real-world narratives in order to support the development of immersive training environments?


Our research approach has been to create the ICT Story Pipeline, a software architecture for collecting, analyzing, retrieving, and utilizing millions of personal narratives posted to public weblogs.


This project was conducted by Andrew S. Gordon (PI), and Christopher Wienberg, with contributions from Matt Bosack, Mark Core, Robert Fuchs, Sinhwa Kang, H. Chad Lane, Jessa Sininger, and Catherine Wang.



This project was conducted as part of the mission funding of the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, contract number #W911NF-04-D-0005 (Task 28), project period of performance 11/1/2011 to 10/30/2013.


Andrew S. Gordon
Institute for Creative Technologies
University of Southern California
12015 Waterfront Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536
Phone: (310) 574-5700
Fax: (310) 574-5725