If all of the science and engineering research assistants look as cute as Otome, then everyone would be doing research and we’d have military grade combat mecha by now (or we’d get no work done). Sigh. Such is the unfortunate state of being an engineering and science nerd.
Recently at work, my project has entered another stage of testing. What made this development version interesting was some of the new integration components. Testing of some of these new components requires cooperation with other software programs within the system. This is fine for most systems. But when dealing with the redundancy requirements for a military grade system, both the system and software engineers have to pay special attention to the various states of each computer component in the system. Knowing the possible conditions of the computer component and its connected counterparts makes diagnosing problems in the system easier.
My mind sorta stayed in that mindset in the past few weeks and when I read tjhan’s attempt at tsundere mathematical modeling. After looking at one of the best math graphs I’ve ever seen, one idea popped into my head: I can model the same thing using my short professional career as a systems engineer. Designing the tsundere computer system is what I will discuss today.
In both computer science and computer engineering, a state machine is a system which can be described as a set of states and the transition between these states. It is considered to be finite (FSM) when states in the system are known to be of a limited number or the system is reduced to definite number of states. In both computer fields, state machines are used in a number areas from to modeling programming code flow to creating sequential circuit systems. Computer science and computer engineering students are taught the basics of these systems in the undergraduate level. (In comp sci, I believe it’s taught in the theory of computation which leads to automata theory. In comp eng, state machines are the building blocks for computer organization.)
State machines have also been used to study areas outside of computer systems. Human nature can be described as a form of an emotional state machine. If I asked someone “How was your day?”, the response may be different depending on how that person is feeling. I could ask that same question at 5pm every day for 7 days and I could get a different response each time even though my input stays the same. However, it is widely understood that human nature should be modeled at least as an abstract state machine because of the numerous amount of states one can process from things like gender and race.
Yet, the world of anime has graced us with the tsunderekko which works well with an FSM model. The reason being is that tsundere characters only have two primary states. With such a small number of states, the number of transition states are only a handful which make the state machine easy to model. Below is my attempt to generate such a model:
There are a couple of things to note here:
- I introduced a normal state into the processing. This is to add some stability into the system. Any interactions outside of the tsundere state set (tsuntsun and deredere) are in this state and most of the time, this is the starting state. There are some shows where the tsunderekko would never reveal the normal state to the audience. Again, this is to make the design complete.
- Note the two non-normal transitions: The Tsundere Moment transition is the key state interaction needed for the tsunderekko. Without it, a tsundere character would be incomplete. The dashed connector for the normal-deredere transition is also important. I find the best tsundere model is one where the character never enters the deredere state until she enters from the tsuntsun state first. This makes the first Tsundere Moment transition more impactful and allows for any deredere state to be traced back to the original defining tsundere transition.
- I did not include a transition from deredere to tsuntsun. Some would argue that the transition (possibly modeled with a dashed line) is needed to be complete. I found it unnecessary. The deredere state is too consuming to the tsundere character. Transitioning to the tsuntsun state without traveling through some “wake up” (normal) state is too quick of a change. For some characters, the dere-to-tsun transition is fairly active and works ok (Kumiguya Rie characters come to mind). The model without that transition should describe most tsundere characters.
One characteristic of state machine models is that they can be expandable. Each state can be broken down into smaller sub states with more transitions. Knowing that, I’ve decided to generate a detailed state machine model of one of my favorite tsundere bishoujos: Kyou from Clannad.
To model the Kyou FSM, I used a Mealy machine model which models state transitions based on the current state and the current input. Each connector has both an input causing the transition and an output caused from the transition. I color coded the transitions to make the paths a bit easier to read (starting state = normal state). I also highlighted the major tsundere path that we all know from Clannad TV series.
So what can you do with these models? Like I said before, FSM models are used in a number of areas within computing. As for the general tsundere FSM and the Kyou FSM, you can apply these into many implementations. The one that comes to mind is high level AI generation for various types of computer programs from the fairly simple Ren’ai conversation tree to possibly as complex as an android (which this blog will 100% support any university attempt at MCRC Kyou persocom development).
A visual screenshot representation of an emotional state path. In this case, the scene is the memorable Kyou-Tomoyo confrontation and the screenshot order is the annoyed state, the competitive state, the competitive-surprised transition input, the surprised state and the embarrassed state. Note that being in an emotional state does not have to last long since the last three screenshots occur in about 4 seconds.
There are two other things I’d like to note about tsundere FSM models. First, I don’t think I can replicate a tjhan’s mathematical model of sinusoidal wave. If I place integer outputs on the states or the transitions and attached a counter, the one-way primary transition from the tsuntsun to the deredere state causes a number of problems. The model would end up converging in one direction either towards +infinity or -infinity depending on the viewier’s bias.
Second, looking at this makes me realize that the tsundere archetype is very limited and simplistic. Now, I was able to take only high level estimation of a tsunderekko. However, I modeled about 70% of the Clannad TV’s Kyou in less than 10 states, far from the multitude of complex states in a human ASM. It is disappointing to see how otaku (including me) are attracted to the simplistic and predicatble representations of female personalities in our world.
The MCRC is still looking for new researchers for a number of projects. Among these, tsundere computer development is at full speed with Shana persocom development and the Hinagiku defense system additions. Combine that with the Combat Waitress program and the MCRC is among the elite in moe research. So please submit your CV’s. We will not let the Mecha Research Triangle make the latest developments first!