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Subject: Re: MTD(F) results

Author: Juergen Wolf

Date: 11:37:50 12/17/03

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On December 17, 2003 at 05:38:52, Tord Romstad wrote:

>On December 16, 2003 at 21:22:56, Anthony Cozzie wrote:
>>Recently I experimented with adding MTD(F) into Zappa.  It has been an
>>interesting experiment, but I am going back to PVS().
>>I thought that since Zappa has a [UL,LL] paired transposition table and an
>>evaluation granularity of only 1/100 of a pawn,
>I use 1/64 of a pawn in Gothmog.  In the new engine I am writing, the
>granularity will be configurable by the user, with possible values between
>1/8 and 1/512 of a pawn.
>>MTD(f) would work quite well,
>>but that does not seem to be the case.  The MTD(f) version of Zappa does
>>slightly better on test suites (113/183 @ecmgcp v 106 @ 10s/move) but in the
>>positional test suites it averaged about 3/4 of a ply less than the PVS()
>>version.  My guess is that because MTD(F) tries all moves, some of the
>>"ridiculously losing captures" ordered near the end by PVS() are tried earlier,
>>which accounts for the increased test suite performance.
>I don't understand this, I'm afraid.  What does MTD(f) vs PVS have to do
>with move ordering?
>>If anyone has any suggestions, I'm keeping the MTD(F) code in Zappa (just turned
>>off) and I'm willing to try anything.
>Some suggestions:
>1. As Dan Andersson has pointed out, enhanced transposition cutoffs are very
>   effective when combined with MTD(f).  If you don't use them already, give
>   them a try.
>2. Do you hash the qsearch?  You'll probably find that it helps you reduce
>   the tree size quite a lot, even if it doesn't give you much in PVS.
>3. Do you use the plain MTD(f) algorithm (as described in Plaat's paper),
>   or do you use some kind of convergence accelerator?  Plain MTD(f) never
>   worked well for me.  I now increase the step size when the search fails
>   in the same direction more than once.

My engine supports both modes (MTD and PVS). Stepsize of MTD and Granularity of
So far i see minor improvements by using MTD only (Granularity 1/50 and Stepsize
1/25 gave best results in tournament).

Didn;t give ETC and convergence accelarator so far a try , as game losses
are more due to missing knowledge than anything else.

Do you have a link/more information wrt "convergence accelerator" and
to be expected gain by addding ETC to MTD ?

thanks in advance

kind regards juergen

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