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Computer Weiqi Program

 
John Lee
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Hi:
please design a computer program who can play Weiqi (Go).
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by John Lee:
Hi:
please design a computer program who can play Weiqi (Go).

That is outside the scope of this forum. The point is not to have people produce complete applications but rather to explore, discuss, and solve focused problems.
 
Jim Yingst
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Awwww... and I was looking forward to seeing what Eric Pascarello would come up with for this one.
 
Jessica Sant
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don't get Bert Bates started on this one...
 
Eric Pascarello
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LOL....
Jim I thought you wanted Pente
LOL, I do not forget these things
[ May 31, 2003: Message edited by: Eric Pascarello ]
 
Jim Yingst
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Well, I was going to request go after you had first completed pente. Didn't want to scare you off. But you can do go first if you like.
 
Eric Pascarello
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I think pente would be easier then go. go has some weird rules in my eyes, Pente seems easier and is like Othello in a way, wait so is go. LOL. If I get time I will work on it. Right now I am working on a "Same Game" type of game with some other options.
 
John Lee
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Some useful links:
Mick's Computer Go Page
The Go programmers hall of fame!
[ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: John Lee ]
 
John Lee
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a couple of source code:
code 1
code 2
code 3
 
Jim Yingst
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I think pente would be easier then go.
I think so too. I'm not sure what you mean about the rules - I think pente has slightly more complex rules, unless you use Japanese counting rules. (Which almost no one does in the computer world; it's a pointless distraction.) But the reason I think Pente would be much easier is that it's much more tractable by brute force searches. Even though it looks like you have the same 361 moves possible in both games (minus occupied spaces of course) in practice in Pente only the spaces one or two spaces away from other stones are of any interest; and even most of these can be discounted with a little analysis. So the game tree needn't branch out the way it would in go; pente is more comparable to chess in this respect I think.
Put it another way - in pente, good play often involves finding one weakness and exploiting it before your opponent does the same to you, and keep attacking the same area as long as possible. In go, good play often involves not getting too caught up in any particular battle, and instead keeping track of the relative importance of many sub-battles throughout the board and their interrelationships. You're obligated to pay attention to much more of the board in go than you are in pente.
 
John Lee
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to those who are interested, freeware Trubo Go is for download. it is not very strong, but very good at teaching.
Download TurboGo for Windows
[ June 01, 2003: Message edited by: John Lee ]
 
Bert Bates
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Ok,
I'm really not into resurrecting old threads but "how did I miss this one?"
Been working on this one for about 15 years - I guess you could call it a REALLY BIG diversion
There are some go programs out there, but the best ones are no where near amateur black belt level. The best programs might play 8 ranks below amateur black belt, and there are probably 10 million go players in the world that good - so the state of the art is horrible. However, there is a $10 million prize for the first program that can consistently beat an amateur black belt - there's some motivation for you!
Pente is a reasonable game, it's a ripoff off the old, old game go-moku. I think a strong pente program would be quite an accomplishment, but it's nowhere in the same league as go. Ah well, as Jess said - don't get me started...
 
Jim Yingst
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it's a ripoff off the old, old game go-moku.
Well "ripoff" is a bit uncharitable. The capturing rules give a significantly different feel to the style of play. There's a large family of different games that can be played on a go board, many of which are some sort of 5-in-a-row. Pente is much more closely related to ninuki-renju than to go-moku, since ninuki-renju is the source of pente's capturing rule. Of course ninuki-renju comes from renju which comes from go-moku, but my point is that the character of the games has changed substantially as they evolved from go-moku.
Other than that, no real disagreement here with anything Bert said.
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
HS Thomas
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JavaRanch Go Ladder
Was that a promise ?
regards
 
Bert Bates
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I didn't know about ninuki-renju. I met a guy who *claimed* to be the creator of Pente. He had a big house and no other visible means of support, but he could have been pulling my leg I guess. Jim, your explanation seems more plausible, I just never heard it before.
For now I'm focused (to use the term very loosely ), on 'life and death' problems, the small, focused skirmishes that can occur in the huge, multi-fronted campaign on a go board.
 
Jim Yingst
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I met a guy who *claimed* to be the creator of Pente.
Gary Gabrel? Just as "rip-off" seemed too strong, so does "creator". "Marketer" maybe. (Which he did a pretty good job of, for a board game.) It seems that the people and corporations which have made money from Pente™ don't want to emphasize the game's close similarity with an existing public-domain game. Can't imagine why that would be. Of course the name and artwork on the board tried to associate the game with classic Greece. :roll:
Aside from issues of IP ownership though, I do like the pente rules a bit better than ninuki-renju. Pente removes some crufty rules which were evidently designed to prolong the game - e.g., in ninuki-renju you're not allowed to create two simultaneous open threes, (or fours I assume), and you're not allowed to win by accidentally forming six in a row, just five. The last only comes up rarely anyway, but the first is just annoying. It's like playing basketball with one hand tied behind your back. (Tied to what, I'm not sure.) Part of the appeal to pente for me is the speed of play - if you screw up one move, you lose fairly quickly after that, and then you start a new game, with a clean slate. The speed of play in turn makes it easy to find opponents by playing in a public place. Just set up the board and wait for someone to either recognize it or ask what it is. Rules are quick to explain, and you then quickly cycle through two to five very short games as the new player gets a feel for how it's played. Then the games get more interesting, but rarely longer than half an hour at the most. Once you've got one opponent, passersby will stop to watch, and learn how the game works, and it's not long before they too have an opportunity to play.
It's also worth noting that the colored "glass" playing pieces help in finding opponents. It's a purely cosmetic thing, but the fact that the game board looks nice helps in getting people to stop and see what you're doing. I've tried doing the same thing with a balck-and-white go set (admittedly, a cheap one, but comparable in cost to a pente set) and it just doesn't attract as much attention. Unfortunately you can't play go on a standard pente set for the simple reason that you run out of stones. Errr, glass pieces. Or whatever they're really made of. Pente gives you about 35 stones per side, and I've never needed them all. Obviously that won't work to well for go. Though I've seen similar glass beads in stores; maybe it's possible to assemble your own set for a reasonable price.
[ October 31, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Bert Bates
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Well, if you're out to spread the good word, you can play go on a 9x9 board and you'll probably have just enough stones using your pente set!
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Just found this while browsing through Swing Sightings.
 
Bert Bates
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That's the client program I use. It's a good client program, but it doesn't actually "play" go. Actually it might play a really terrible game of go, but it's main focus is to be a nice GUI client for the various go servers spread across the web.
 
Howard Kushner
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Hey Now!
I think that we've found a good problem to solve as soon as we finish reading Ernest Friedman-Hill's new book, Jess in Action, (covering the popular Java rule engine Jess) written for Real Programmers.
 
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