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Ideas for XG

Posted By: AP
Date: Wednesday, 6 February 2013, at 4:06 a.m.

It seems the engines are getting so strong now, that most enhancements take the form of minor tweaks or bug fixes. Here are two ideas that could be interesting to players of all strengths. Both involve deviations from theoretically optimal play.

i) Create different 'personalities' with different tendencies...for example, some might double too early, some too late, some play too bold, etc. Right now I find myself taking most XG cubes on autopilot even if I dont know what is going on because I know it will double as soon as it can poke the tip of its silicon nose into the doubling window. Other advantages include playing types of positions that come up often in practical play, but rarely against the bots, like backgames.

ii) Create contempt settings so that the bot is willing to sacrifice a specified amount of equity in order to complicate the position. One simple heuristic for BG would be this: The higher the volatility in a position, the harder it is for a human to evaluate. If anyone wants to test this idea, put some of your own whoppers back into XG, and check Analysis-->Dice Distribution, then look at the volatility number in lower left...my guess is it will be much larger than an average position. Of course some tuning would be necessary, but I would bet that even the best human players in the world would see their PR increase by 1 or 2 or maybe more if XG intentionally sacrificed a small amount of equity to reach these types of positions more frequently. This could shine the light on undiscovered weaknesses and allow human levels to reach higher heights.

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