for anyone thats interested, here's a little bit about goblin:
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.
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'.
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.