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Subject: learning to tune parameters by comp-comp games

Author: Uri Blass

Date: 12:18:54 12/28/00


How much rating can programs earn by playing against themselves?

I think that it is possible to improve the rating of programs by playing a lot
of games between the program and itself when you change one parameter(for
example increasing the value of pawn by 5%).

It is possible to play a lot of games and stop only when there is a difference
of 70 in order to learn if increasing the value of pawn by 5% is a good change
or a bad change(we need big difference because the difference from small change
is usually small and we can get often wrong results if we stop only at small
difference).

If you find that increasing the value of pawn by 5% is productive you do the
change and the program learned to increase the value of pawn.

After it you continue in doing similiar tests.

I think that programmers need a lot of beta testers in order to do all these
tests and the question is what is the size of the improvement that you can get
by these tests.

I know that people can claim that you can improve the program in playing against
itself when you do not improve it against other programs but I believe that most
of the improvement is an improvement against other programs (at least in cases
when the decision of the programmer is to do symmetric evaluation).

The interesting question is how much improvement programmers can get by this way
if they have enough money to pay for beta testers so they can get enough games.

Other interesting questions are if there are examples when the same evaluation
change is productive in 1 minute per game and counter productive in longer time
control and if there are examples when A beats B, B beats C but C beats A(I mean
when all the results are significant results).

Uri



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