Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Morph lll

Author: K. Burcham

Date: 20:09:37 10/29/03

Has this work been shelved?
Has another program that we know today evolved out of this program?


UCSC's Robert Levinson
Levinson, an associate professor of computer science, is an expert on artificial

In recent years, he parlayed that fascination into an ambitious, National
Science Foundation-funded project on using computer chess as a means to advance
toward certain goals in AI. His group developed a unique chess program, called
"Morph," and continues to refine it. Morph relies on a far different strategy
than Deep Blue's brute-force calculations: It "learns" chess from the ground up,
becoming familiar with the intricate patterns that permeate the intellectual's
ultimate board game. Essentially, the system mimics how a child would pick up
chess given just two things: lists of legal moves and a playing partner who
reveals only whether the child wins or loses.

Early versions of Morph could occasionally defeat novice tournament players, but
its performance plateaued. The group's newest model relies heavily on
information theory to determine which patterns on the chessboard are worth

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