[Computer-go] 7.0 Komi and weird deep search result

Aja ajahuang at gmail.com
Wed Apr 6 00:32:36 PDT 2011

Hi Don,
Thanks for your penetrating ideas. Yes, I would like to reconsider my feeling and hope that it doesn’t misguide anyone.

We both know the recent controversy between Fruit and Rybka (or Fabien and Vasik), but of course it’s not the issue here right now. Just want to mention in passing that Fabien said he might develop a Go program in the next few years, so we can expect for another open-source strong program.

It’s just my guess that it’s very hard for current MCTS to surpass amateur 5d or 6d. One main reason is it’s difficult to solve a lot of different semeai and life-and-death instances in pro level, even if the program is running on a super big hardware (by this point I was impressed by Olivier’s talk in a conference of Taiwan, in which he gave an “easy” semeai example that Mogo cannot solve with very larger number of simulations). Another aspect is that it’s extremely hard for MCTS to consider/argue for few points in early stages on 19x19 (because it only sees winning rate and dynamic komi is far from enough to fix it) and that is exactly what pros are very able to. 

The progress in hardware by Mogo, Fuego and pachi is well-known and impressive, so that I don’t think the amazing progress in computer Go is mainly due to software. Both hardware and software are important in making a strong Go program for now, as far as I can see.

I hope your prediction is right: “without anything really major (but no doubt some new small ideas) we are going to see your KGS 5 and 6 dan and much higher in 5 to 10 years.” If not, then we will have a lot of “interesting” work to do, no matter testing methodology, engineering or academic etc. 
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