In 1950, Claude Shannon published his seminal work on how to program a computer to play chess. Since then, developing game-playing programs that can compete with (and even exceed) the abilities of the human world champions has been a long-sought-after goal of the AI research community. In Shannon's time, it would have seemed unlikely that only a scant 50 years would be needed to develop programs that play world-class backgammon, checkers, chess, Othello, and Scrabble. These remarkable achievements are the result of a better understanding of the problems being solved, major algorithmic insights, and tremendous advances in hardware technology. Computer games research is one of the important success stories of AI. This article reviews the past successes, current projects, and future research directions for AI using computer games as a research test bed.
This book presents a methodology and philosophy of empirical science based on large scale lossless data compression. In this view a theory is scientific if it can be used to build a data compression program, and it is valuable if it can compress a standard benchmark database to a small size, taking into account the length of the compressor itself. This methodology therefore includes an Occam principle as well as a solution to the problem of demarcation. Because of the fundamental difficulty of lossless compression, this type of research must be empirical in nature: compression can only be achieved by discovering and characterizing empirical regularities in the data. Because of this, the philosophy provides a way to reformulate fields such as computer vision and computational linguistics as empirical sciences: the former by attempting to compress databases of natural images, the latter by attempting to compress large text databases. The book argues that the rigor and objectivity of the compression principle should set the stage for systematic progress in these fields. The argument is especially strong in the context of computer vision, which is plagued by chronic problems of evaluation. The book also considers the field of machine learning. Here the traditional approach requires that the models proposed to solve learning problems be extremely simple, in order to avoid overfitting. However, the world may contain intrinsically complex phenomena, which would require complex models to understand. The compression philosophy can justify complex models because of the large quantity of data being modeled (if the target database is 100 Gb, it is easy to justify a 10 Mb model). The complex models and abstractions learned on the basis of the raw data (images, language, etc) can then be reused to solve any specific learning problem, such as face recognition or machine translation.
In this paper, we demonstrate the application of Fuzzy Markup Language (FML) to construct an FML-based Dynamic Assessment Agent (FDAA), and we present an FML-based Human-Machine Cooperative System (FHMCS) for the game of Go. The proposed FDAA comprises an intelligent decision-making and learning mechanism, an intelligent game bot, a proximal development agent, and an intelligent agent. The intelligent game bot is based on the open-source code of Facebook Darkforest, and it features a representational state transfer application programming interface mechanism. The proximal development agent contains a dynamic assessment mechanism, a GoSocket mechanism, and an FML engine with a fuzzy knowledge base and rule base. The intelligent agent contains a GoSocket engine and a summarization agent that is based on the estimated win rate, real-time simulation number, and matching degree of predicted moves. Additionally, the FML for player performance evaluation and linguistic descriptions for game results commentary are presented. We experimentally verify and validate the performance of the FDAA and variants of the FHMCS by testing five games in 2016 and 60 games of Google Master Go, a new version of the AlphaGo program, in January 2017. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed FDAA can work effectively for Go applications.
Self-play reinforcement learning has proved to be successful in many perfect information two-player games. However, research carrying over its theoretical guarantees and practical success to games of imperfect information has been lacking. In this paper, we evaluate self-play Monte-Carlo Tree Search in limit Texas Hold'em and Kuhn poker. We introduce a variant of the established UCB algorithm and provide first empirical results demonstrating its ability to find approximate Nash equilibria.
While Hierarchical Task Networks are frequently cited as flexible and powerful planning models, they are often ignored due to the intensive labor cost for experts/programmers, due to the need to create and refine the model by hand. While recent work has begun to address this issue by working towards learning aspects of an HTN model from demonstration, or even the whole framework, the focus so far has been on simple toy domains, which lack many of the challenges faced in the real world such as imperfect information and continuous environments. I plan to extend this work using the domain of real-time strategy (RTS) games, which have gained recent popularity as a challenging and complex domain for AI research.