Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Zappa Report

Author: Djordje Vidanovic

Date: 10:56:53 12/30/05

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On December 30, 2005 at 13:02:43, Ingo Althofer wrote:

>Thanks for the nice and insightful report!
>Zappa wrote:
>> ... People have wondered for months now why Fruit is so
>> strong.  My opinion is that he simply has so few parameters
>> to tune that he can get them exactly right :)
>One comment on this: You should not see this as a joke.
>It is one of the best arts to find the right SMALL set of
>parameters and to tune them.
>Some 12 years ago I had a technical article on this
>("On telescoping linear evaluation functions") in the
>ICCA Journal (now ICGA Jornal), Vol 16 (June 1993),
>pp. 91-94, describing a theorem (of existence) which says
>that in case of linear evaluation functions with lots
>of terms there is always a small subset of the terms
>such that this set with the right parameters is
>almost as good as the full evaluation function.
>Ingo Althofer.
>PS: In motor biking Valentino Rossi is the
>superstar, for several years already. One of
>the secrets of his success is that he does not
>try to tune everything at his engine - but
>concentrates on the right handful of parameters.

No insult intended, but much before your article William of Occam said "Numquam
ponendo est pluritas sine necessitate", or, in plain English "one should not
increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain
anything", which is, in cybernetics, dubbed as the principle of parsimony.

Fruit is in all probability based on that principle, but never forget that
simplicity does not necessarily mean lack of intelligence in a program; on the
contrary developing the model will become much easier, and there is less chance
of introducing inconsistencies, ambiguities and redundancies.  Which might have
happened to Zappa, if the account the author gave is complete.

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