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Subject: Re: MTD: an observation and a question

Author: Dieter Buerssner

Date: 12:10:47 09/13/02

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On September 13, 2002 at 01:28:52, Robert Hyatt wrote:

>On September 12, 2002 at 11:54:11, Dieter Buerssner wrote:
>
>>On September 12, 2002 at 09:28:28, Robert Hyatt wrote:
>>
>>>The gotcha is to use fail-soft.  And this probably requires a few changes
>>>to how you back up scores.  IE you might do something like this:
>>>
>>>        v=Search(-beta, -alpha, etc);
>>>        if (v > alpha) {
>>>            if (v > beta) return beta;
>>>            alpha=v;
>>>        }
>>>
>>>That return beta is not fail-soft.  it should be changed to
>>>
>>>            if (v > beta) return v;
>>
>>This is not enough. You need a new variable, for example best (intitialized to
>>some very bad score)
>>
>>         v=Search(-beta, -alpha, etc);
>>         if (v > best) {
>>           best = v;
>>           /* And to the PV discussion: here the "semi-PV" must be updated */
>>           if (v > alpha) {
>>             if (v > beta) return v;
>>             alpha=v;
>>           }
>>         }
>>
>>and out of the search loop:
>>
>>  return best;
>>
>>Your code snippet (Crafty, too) is essentially fail hard. In the parent node,
>>after you returned best, you end up returning alpha in most cases (which is
>>almost the same, as you would return beta in the fail high node).
>>
>>Regards,
>>Dieter
>
>
>Right.  This was one of _many_ changes I did when I tried mtd(f) a couple of
>years back.  I left a bit of the "fail-soft" code in place, because it didn't
>make any real difference, but I did take the piece you mentioned above out
>(starting alpha off very low).

?? Starting alpha very low should make your search rather slow. I believe, one
really needs a new variable "bestscore" besides alpha.

Regards,
Dieter



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