Friday, March 14, 2014

On my way to the 2014 UEC Cup

(written March 11, posted late)
On my way to UEC cup in Japan. I have just lost my first 13x13 game on even against Fuego, playing on my laptop in the plane. I won the second game, but Fuego won again in the third. This is great progress - I have had no trouble beating any earlier versions of Fuego on 13x13.

I fixed an important problem in the code in Vancouver Airport, and now the program seems to play much better. I spent the last month and a bit to implement a feature recognition and learning system to use as “prior knowledge” in Fuego. It had been better than the old Fuego version since about 10 days ago. However, there were some problems with the search process. The progam liked to play silly, suicidal moves a few times during the game, and it played reckless “overplay” attacks even when it was only slightly behind.

I spent the last few days getting ready for the trip and trying to understand the problem. I wrote some tools to let me look at the details of the search process and try to figure out what goes wrong and why. I flew from Edmonton to Vancouver this morning, and while waiting for my connecting flight I looked in detail at the “trace” of a search that ended up playing a very bad move. I found that the new “feature knowledge” caused the search to become unbalanced, and stray from the best move by giving a too-high weight to other moves. I wrote a few lines of code to fix that, and it seems like it is working!

I left Edmonton on Monday morning, but because of the tme difference it is now Tuesday afternoon in Japan. It will be evening before I arrive at my hotel in Tokyo. The next few days I will work with my colleague Kazuki on the program, then we will have the competition on the weekend.

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