Nelf Name Generator V2


I have made a name generator based on LSTM-LM in the 2016 post. The quality is ok for novel-writing if you would like to spend some time to look for a satisfying name in the generated list.

But considers the situation that you are designing a game to give unique names to every random NPCs, the quality of Nelf Name Generator V1 cannot meet the requirement without supervision.

I am looking for new technologies to refine the generator. The Nelf Name Generator V2 is based on WGAN-GP, referenced from Improved Training of Wasserstein GANs.

Wasserstein GAN

GAN is for Generative Adversarial Network. It constitutes a Discriminator (D) and a Generator (G). To train the network, first use G to generate samples y', and mix y' with real samples y. Let D to discriminate samples if it belongs to y' (generated samples) or y (real samples), and train it with errors. Derivate D to y' as the gradient of y', which indicates the direction to let y' be “more realistic”. Apply ∂D/∂y' to G to train with back propagation, so that the generated samples move along with the “realistic” direction. After several epochs, the network arrives at an equilibrium: D cannot discriminate generated samples and real samples, ∂D/∂y' convergences to zero, and G no longer changes. At this moment, the generated samples have the same probability distribution as real samples.

Wasserstein GAN is proposed in the breaking paper Wasserstein GAN by Martin Arjovsky in the early-2017. There is a detailed interpretation in Zhihu. The paper discussed the reason why GAN is hard to train. The mechanism behind GANs is to minimize the J-S distance or K-L distance between the distribution of samples. However, the distributions are low-dimensional manifolds in high-dimensional space, where the overlapped volume is often zero. The J-S distance and K-L distance lose their functions in this circumstance. The improved method is to use Wasserstein distance instead, which could give directions even when the overlapped volume of distributions is zero.

The following paper of WGAN-GP is cooperated with Martin Arjovsky, published two months later. It revised one of the improving method (weight clipping) to a more reasonable one (gradient penalty).

Thanks to the excellent traits of WGAN, this is the very first time that people achieve text generating with GANs. In other GANs, the discriminator will discriminate real samples directly according to the value of one-hot encoding, so that it cannot provide any effective directions to the generator. WGAN will keep pulling the distance of two probability distributions closer even when it can discriminate with one-hot encoding already.


I did not write codes. Just pulled the code from the original author of the paper and modified a little bit. The code is here. Since the corpus is very simple I decreased the space of parameters in the model to prevent over-fitting. The original model used 5 residual blocks with 512 dimensions of features, and I decreased them to 2 residual blocks and 32 dimensions.

The training data is extracted from a private server database of patch 7.35 (TrinityCore), combined with a database client from patch 7.25. I queried names of all female night elf NPCs and removed other parts except first names manually. There are 661 names in total.


Left: Results from LSTM-LM (Nelf Name Generator V1). Middle: Random names in the client, prepared by Blizzard. Right: Results from WGAN-GP (Nelf Name Generator V2).

Liir Aqulais Alysna
Kyula Selwynn Myshaina
Aarael Alayia Saeurdore
Censa’oh Alasia Lilly
Salciea Elybrook Ishawnn
Mleharite Alaria Eloria
Aarnail Rochelle Novo
Sltthandris Ivy Jalena
Lashera Elessaria Falandria
‘yiuamaliana Mavralais Jayanna
Gorallia Aria Tyranna
Cieia Edelinn Shyela
Derelien Syyia Asy’ia
Ly’ura Brinna Lyanis
Tira Elyria Sniela
Kllyoana Adila Silra
Nvla Caylbrooke Aeya
Juraia Dara Hesteral
Flara Saelda Ella’dria
Titianna Annalore Cinls
Yeainsiy Elyda Laurne
Aasephine Kynlea Dulvian
Ahmnnai Cybelle Aelysea
Reanl Arlana Ranelao
Eeyra Saellea Roow
Dalllyn Shaulea Ea’yssia
Myirill Laana Lunura
Lelytha Saebrooke Allanya
Kylda Kynreith Leana
Myiuaa Syreith Kinda
Mini Lada Nauianaa
Ahynysil Catalin Syli’nna
Jolania Mavraena Chellsane
Alilune Belinna Arlysea
Tynytha Syda Illay
Clyraste Alareith Csana

A list containing 64,000 generated names (possibly duplicated) is here. The left column is the generated names, the right column is the evaluation given by discriminator. It may help naming new characters in creation colleagues.