A blog about learning go and learning computer go. A go beginner tries to improve his game and use their software engineering skills to build a computer go player. Entries about their go reading, computer go reading, go playing, go improvement, go concepts (seki, ko, miai, etc) and progress building the computer go player.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The go-playing program called Go81

I’m reading "the go-playing program called Go81" by Tapani Raiko, which uses a very interesting "ant" approach. This relies on a very local (3x3) pattern matching and simple stochastic search. Potentially the approach is very nicely parallelisable, but it doesn't seem intuitive to me (although I admit that I may be biased by the fact that this is the first serious go program I’ve read up on that I can beat easily, which may be prejudicing me against the approach).

The author discusses miai points (as something that may be leveraged by a future version of the game), which got me thinking about miai in terms of symmetry. The more I think about it, the more different forms of symmetry seems like an under-exploited feature of go and possibly an effective technique for reducing search space.

I've played the game online (presumably the Go81console variant), and noticed that the way to bet it is to not connect, just play very lightly and prevent it from forming eyes.

Tapani Raiko’s home page: http://www.cis.hut.fi/praiko/

Go81: http://www.cis.hut.fi/praiko/go81/

The paper: http://www.cis.hut.fi/praiko/papers/go_step.pdf

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