[Computer-go] monte carlo weakness

Dave Dyer ddyer at real-me.net
Tue Sep 7 13:52:47 PDT 2010

It's interesting to compare new and old programs, but I think it would
be more fair to handicap in the opposite direction.    The moore yardstick
suggests that the same program evaluate 4000 times as many positions
as on 16 year old hardware.

Whatever the multiplier, restrict the "old" program to time that allows that number of nodes, and restrict the modern program by the same time.  (I realize this isn't really possible or fair, as there are many other factors affecting performance) but to press on...

You'll end up comparing the "old" program at its old skill level,  with a new
program running in some amazingly short amount of time, like 0.1 seconds per move.

I bet that at that level, the skill differential is much less significant.


So, getting back to my original point, for chess "more horsepower" resulted
in much better performance, even without changes in algorithms.  It looked
at least plausible that MC techniques had pushed Go into a zone where that was also true, but if human players can easily adapt to defeat strong MC programs, perhaps not.

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