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Offline pixie

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« on: June 03, 2006, 04:55:41 PM »
for anyone thats interested, here's a little bit about goblin:

background

goblin is not a NN.
goblin is a genetc algorithm. -for those that don't know what a GA is; it's basically a whole bunch of synthetic entities that inter-relate and co-operate using models of evolutionary principles, in order to arrive at a (usually well-defined) solution.


goblins agenda

there are already plenty of great bots out there that can play an expert game given enough data -this is not what goblin is about. goblin is designed to rapidly acquire knowledge about how to play backgammon. right now it is more important that goblin quickly gains an average level of competency than it is for goblin to slowly become an expert.


goblins current experience

goblin has undergone an initial training process involving the analysis of 400 games played by an advanced NN. if you like, goblin has so far only watched experts play the game. as of today goblin gets to play. this type of training is fundamentally different in that goblin receives direct feedback from the ideas it has thus far managed to evolve during its intial training.


how and when goblin learns online

essentially goblin will learn in realtime. however, it takes about 40mins (on goblins development platform) for goblin to learn from a single game. so initially, goblin will be put online and allowed to play 20 games or so, then taken offline and allowed to learn from those games. if all goes well -and it may not- then once goblin has acheived an average level of competency we might let goblin play and learn in parallel.


what to expect

expect nothing. goblin is very much an experiment.
goblins structure regularly descends into a riot. certainly don't expect to see any improvements in goblins playing ability intra-day since goblin will initially play statically during a single day and then learn from the days play during the night -when asleep.

however, if things do go well, goblin should show a marked improvemt within 100 games or so. this is our hope and also our definition of 'rapid acquistion'.


final note

if you see a user called pixy watching you while you are playing goblin. thats us. we have'nt yet seen the need to write a GUI front-end onto goblins client app since there are already plenty of good FIBS clients that already do the job for us. so pls don't blind us -we have the game data in any case.


ps: for anyone that wants to know more then there's an email address in goblins welcome statement.

kind regards,
pixie.


 

Offline diane

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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2006, 06:45:42 PM »
This is very interesting - I shall enjoy watching its progress.  I am just curious though - is this goblins first outing? - or have we seen it before - maybe earlier versions?
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Offline socksey

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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 07:43:37 PM »
Quote
goblin is not a NN.
goblin is a genetc algorithm. -for those that don't know what a GA is; it's basically a whole bunch of synthetic entities that inter-relate and co-operate using models of evolutionary principles, in order to arrive at a (usually well-defined) solution.

Although I have no idea what any of that says, I am always game to try something new, so good luck, and happy gobbling!   :lol:

socksey



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Offline pixie

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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2006, 05:32:02 PM »
hi diane,

goblin has indeed made a prior appearance on FIBS some years ago -and only for a brief period. due to pressures of work, goblin was put on hold, until now.



hi socksey,

NN => neural net
most good backgammon bots are neural nets or at least hybrid NNs -because backgammon is a class of problem well suited to NNs.

goblin on the other hand attempts to generate (potentially human readable) winning strategies using evolutionary techniques. goblin does not optimise expert information and starts life with no clues and only the ability to generate any valid move combination.


goblin will be putting in a few brief appearances over the next week or so but is likely to be offline more often than not as it is still under development.



 

Offline diane

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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2006, 05:38:11 PM »
Quote
goblin has indeed made a prior appearance on FIBS some years ago -and only for a brief period. due to pressures of work, goblin was put on hold, until now.



 
That explains some things then - I wondered why it appeared to be so bad, now I know it was just learning  :) This is really quite a fascinating project...
« Last Edit: June 05, 2006, 05:41:13 PM by diane »
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Offline diane

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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2006, 11:16:11 PM »
I played a couple of matches with it today - to see how it is going and what it is doing, on analysis it does seem like it has a lot to learn.. ;)  And I thought teaching human players was hard work... :D  
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Offline pixie

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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 12:07:22 AM »
hi diane,

thx for your interest and your comments. -if only there wasn't already a bot called bonehead, i might have named it that instead of goblin =)

 

Offline lewscannon

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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 04:51:51 PM »
Quote
Quote
goblin has indeed made a prior appearance on FIBS some years ago -and only for a brief period. due to pressures of work, goblin was put on hold, until now.



 
That explains some things then - I wondered why it appeared to be so bad, now I know it was just learning  :) This is really quite a fascinating project...
Did you win? :P  

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