# Overview

Larvotto is an AOL instant messenger bot that utilizes Markov chains seeded with logs of previous instant message conversations to generate response text to incoming instant messages. http://code.google.com/p/larvotto/

Installing > python setup.py install

Note that Larvotto requires Python and the Twisted (http://twistedmatrix.com/trac/) networking library. If you install Twisted using a packaging system such as apt or yum, the make sure you have the twisted.words library installed in addition to the twisted base.

Usage larvotto [-p password] [-l logdir] [-c chainlen] [-a altscrnm] screenname

-p password: Specify the password at the command line instead of being prompted immediately following bot start

-l logdir: Directory containing Pidgin log files for the user being to base upon For Windows users, this defaults to $HOMEApplication Data.purplelogsaim For *nix users, this defaults to$HOME/.purple/logs/aim

-c chainlen: The number of words to be used in the markov chain. A smaller number can result in nonsensical data and a higher number could result in a simple repetition of your previous statements. These results can vary drastically depending on the size of your log files. Our experimentation has shown a value of two or three to perform well, but you should experiment yourself and have fun!

-a altscrnm: Specify that the markov chain should be seeded by statements made by the specified screen name and not the user that the bot will log on as. This is useful for the case in which you don't want the bot to log in as your primary screen name, but you want to base its text on your previous conversations using that name.

screenname: The AOL Instant Messenger screen name that the bot will use to log in

Implementation Notes To generate text to send via instant messages, Larvotto parses a users Pidgin log files to build up a list of utterances previously issued by the user. This body of text is then used to seed a Markov Chain used to generate "realistic" text. When an incoming message is received, a sentence is generated using the markvo chain and returned to the recipient. The chain length command line argument specifies the length of the chain, or more specifically, given X words what words have followed them and how often. This is why a lower chain length is more likely to result in gibberish and a longer length can result in a simple repetition of sentences from the log files.