Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Knowledge is not elegant.

Author: Guido Schimmels

Date: 06:10:14 06/15/98

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On June 14, 1998 at 13:50:19, Don Dailey wrote:

>I think a knowledge based approach to computer chess is not elegant at
>all.  However I use  it because I  do not see a  better  approach.  My
>program  keeps accumulating more and more  knowledge and seems to keep
>improving as a result of it.  I'm forced to  use this ugly brute force
>technique because I do not know a better way.
>At the  rate we are going with  ram prices plummeting and our computer
>memories getting larger and larger, we may someday have as much memory
>in our  computers  as  humans have in   their  heads.   Already  chess
>programs use many megabytes  of memory, and if  we continue  this ugly
>trend toward modeling the human brain we will soon have chess programs
>requiring huge amounts of memory.  This is not a pleasing development
>at all and is so wasteful.
>The culmination of all  of this might  be the  32 man database.   This
>will be a sad day   indeed when a  simple table  lookup gives you  the
>right  answer  in every position.   Then  our  programs will play like
>super humans, having instant and perfect intuition in every position.
>My program used to have some clever rules to play king and pawn versus
>king correctly.   I now  have  a database,   but the  two  are exactly
>equivalent and both return the  right answer every time.  The  program
>plays the ending perfectly, just like most strong humans do.  In fact,
>it's better than the way humans do it because humans use a combination
>of search and knowledge.  Maybe it will be  more human that us because
>everyone knows humans shouldn't use  a search, only stupid programs do
>- Don

I think, if knowledge is elegant or not depends on how you create and
apply it.
The amount of memory it takes is not the point. If I knew a way to
create a highly sophisticated evaluation function and searching rules
from playing games and from analysing games from databases I would
it very elegant even if the resulting program code would take a gigabyte
memory. But the time consuming trial and error techniques we use are
ugly. Temporal differences to set the weights is interesting, but the
and rules still have to be done manually.
But even if we would succeed in automating knowledge generation, what
humans do when playing chess is something completely different. On
we have algorithms and data (OOP doesn't really make a difference). For
algorithms and data are the same thing. When humans play chess they are
not simply executing a program and using what they have learned, but
will have new
insights during they play - they think ! To express it in computer
terms, humans
change/enhance their program during that program is executed !
makes the difference.
What Kasparov knows about chess can't be downloaded into a computer as a
whole, that's what I'm completely convinced of.

- Guido

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