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Old 04-16-2018, 10:01 AM   #6
Andrew B.
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Los Angeles, California
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Looks like my memory if full of holes on some of this. Plus some things I didn't know. So here is much more than you ever wanted to know.

1. TD-Gammon was completely trained by itself per Bill Robertie, the champion who first played against it. http://bkgm.com/books/Robertie-Learn...heMachine.html

One fine point, though. According to the programmer:
Strategy for use of the doubling cube was not included in TD-Gammon's training. Instead, a doubling algorithm was added after training that makes decisions by feeding TD-Gammon's expected reward estimates into a theoretical doubling formula developed in the 1970s
2. Gnu Backgammon uses three neural nets, not two. http://www.bkgm.com/gnu/AllAboutGNU.html

The first program I bought was Snowie. It cost $380 (ouch). But the thing is, it didn't simply play, it also evaluated play. You could even feed it an entire match and it would tell you were you made mistakes. And a bunch of other features, such as creating HTML pages showing board positions.

The second program I got was GNU Backgammon, which is free. It was about as strong as Snowie, and can run evaluations. But not as slick. I preferred the way Gnu worked. After this program came out, it put a such a dent in Snowie's business that it was no longer upgraded.

My current program is eXtreme Gammon. Consensus is that this is the strongest and fastest player and elevator. And after paying so much for Snowie, I was glad to see it's only $59.95. And interestingly, the programmer's first job was at Borland. http://www.bkgm.com/articles/Simborg/zXavier/index.html


Last edited by Andrew B.; 04-16-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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