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Subject: Re: Assymetry & Bonus in Static Eval? (after a Sac or whenever)

Author: Stephen A. Boak

Date: 22:40:43 12/03/99

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>On December 04, 1999 at 01:35:52, Stephen A. Boak wrote:

>I do not understand about assymmetric evaluations or giving a bonus for the side
>to move.  Please provide a brief explanation, thanks!
>>On December 03, 1999 at 21:31:09, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>Except for an experiment giving the side to move a bonus to some extend
>>i've never been assymmetric. When I threw out this bonus too, then
>>diep improved a lot in level.
>>Logical one would say a bonus for having the side to move is good,
>>but it never worked for DIEP.
>Why is it logical to give a bonus for having the side to move?
>1) If a position is zugzwang, then the side to move will lose regardless of
>having the right to move.
>2) Having the right to move gives the side to move a choice of direction.
>Having a choice of move allows the side the move to select its own destiny
>(meaning path) but not necessarily its own ultimate destiny (meaning draw or
>   For example, if the position is bad for the side to move, how does having the
>move in a bad position make it more likely that the position will improve
>(meaning get better that it is at the moment) because of the move choice by the
>side to move?
>   In a bad position, selecting the 'least bad' move among many bad moves does
>not automatically make the position a good one.  It simply minimizes the
>negative aspects of the bad position after the move is made.
>   Giving a bonus for the side to move might be overly optimistic for the side
>with the bad position and the right to move.
>Do I understand correctly--for each static evaluation of a single position (leaf
>node, I guess), the program evaluates based on material and positional factors
>without regard to which side is on the move?  Then, some programmers like to add
>a bonus for the side to move?
>>Never figured out why. Did i have a bug?
>>Apart from this discussion, from which i don't know whether it's good to have,
>>being assymetric becasue white might be a human and black a computer,
>>i am against using an assymmetric evaluation function for that.
>Seems to me there are various types of assymetry in evaluation that a programmer
>might try to incorporate (are these the kinds of assymetry you are discussing?):
>1) The side to move gets a bonus (or penalty).
>2) The side to move, if in the better position, scores moves in a manner that
>gives more contempt for a draw (goal is more to win, and less to draw--i.e.,
>more contempt for a drawing move/line).  The side to move, if in the worse
>position, scores moves in a manner that gives less contempt for a draw (goal is
>more to seek a draw, and less to try to take risks to win).
>3) Moves may be scored differently, depending on the perceived nature/strength
>of a known opponent.   Examples of differences in known opponents:  human vs.
>computer; human, maybe a GM, with certain propensity for playing some types of
>positions well, and some not so well; computer with certain propensity for
>playing some types of positions well--perhaps open; and some not so
>well--perhaps closed or gambits requiring long term contempt for material in the
>all-out seeking of a victory).
>Any enlightenment on the above subjects would be much appreciated.  Then I can
>follow the discussions with improved understanding and even more interest.
>Thank you.
>--Steve Boak

I see from a lower post of Will Singleton that the side under attack may want to
give a higher eval score to moves that protect its king from attack; the side
conducting the attack may have less concern to protecting its own king and may
wish to give a higher eval score to moves that attack the opponent's king.  This
is another type of assymetry, I guess.  Correct?

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