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Re: [Bug-gnubg] Intelligent Analysis

From: Nardy Pillards
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] Intelligent Analysis
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2002 16:37:11 +0200

The Tutor mode, available in GNUBg right now, is already a nice 'first step' feature.
I'm convinced we'll see - in the near future - 'Intelligent Analysis' .
I don't know if people are working on it, but there is a call from the user world to see it implemented. As for backgammon programs, it will need another guy (girl?) spending all his/her free time to find the correlation between the 'doubtful', 'bad', 'very bad' moves and the 'obvious' explanation.
And... there are some very obvious ones that maybe can be implemented already. I don't know.
The examples you give: there must be more of those 'Hey?! You didn't see that??' positions.
I'm very curious ;-)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 3:57 PM
Subject: [Bug-gnubg] Intelligent Analysis



            I have been thinking. Right now one of the great boons about the engines is how strong they are. Especially interesting is that they evolved their knowledge by themselves and that way were able go beyond us. The most frustrating part of it all is that they cannot share this with us in terms we can really understand, so we are forced to accept they are correct, and then try to explain it to ourselves. Fine, but it doesn’t need to be that way for everything.

            Take cube decisions. There are two aspects that interfere with cube decisions essentially: positional evaluation (we’re on our own) and match score. I see no reason why a program couldn’t help out players by explaining to them these score-related aspects. For example, I played a 5 point match against someone online. Being the inexperienced player I am, I doubled without taking the score properly into account. GNU told me my double was a colossal mistake. Something in the 200 range. I looked at the position and didn’t immediately grasp it all. I understood this was no doubt a factor, but was my position too weak as well? I set it up as a money game and asked it again. Now, to not double would have been a serious mistake. In other words, the match score was the sole reason doubling was such a blunder. I have no problem with that, but I think GNU could be made to explain these things.

Ex: Doubling here in a Money game would be correct, but the match score (one could write a generic text for the different situations) 2-away/4-away means that your opponent will redouble immediately and the game will be for the match. Your MWC should be X%”

The situations are more than a few, but there are a few that appear far more often than others, and those initially could be scripted. In order to not drown the Double analysis window, a button “Explanation” could be added should the player want it. In time, more cases would be covered.

Perhaps the program can never properly tell me that breaking my anchor is a catastrophe (though I have my thoughts on this too), but this is outside the domain of purely evaluation aspects (in other words its weights) and could and should become a part of a teaching tool IMO.

Any thoughts?

BTW, I said I had my thoughts on positional explanations too. In most cases, it’s true there is no way it can help, but sometimes one sees very clear things in the lists of moves and their evaluations. For example, I see that my “solid” move is a blunder of over 100 and placed 4th. Interestingly, every single one of the three first moves involves hitting a specific blot. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to conclude that NOT hitting is a colossal blunder. Or another slight variation, one sees that every move involving breaking the anchor leads to an enormous loss of equity. There are different reasonable candidate moves available, but breaking the anchor is not one of them. I don’t know if it is possible, but even such light explanations could be of use to players at the lower ranks. If you don’t scrutinize the lists of moves, one could easily miss these common points.


                                                                                                Albert Silver

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