[Computer-go] Practical significance?

Don Dailey dailey.don at gmail.com
Mon Nov 26 15:09:59 PST 2012


On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Mark Boon <tesujisoftware at gmail.com> wrote:

> I would imagine that "practical significance" depends on the absolute
> level. Between two beginners 23% means little as it can be overtaken
> by a day's study. Between top-professionals it probably means the
> difference between a legendary 9p winning many top-title tournaments
> and a 9p who never wins a top title in his life.
>

True,   but you are making a statement about the stability of the rating or
strength of the player,  I am assuming a reliable and stable rating
difference, not an ELO guess.   You would not be able to claim a practical
superiority over anyone if you only played 5 or 10 games in your life as a
beginner might.

But I do get your point - it's a matter of perception in the case of a long
time pro but in the case of a beginner,   even if the superiority is the
same it is much more subject to change over time.

Another way to see this, is that if you are are a 40 year old 2 Dan player
and you have even chances against an 8 year old prodigy,   he is already
going to perceived as the superior player because he surely will be within
a few weeks or months.

Don





>
> Mark
>
> On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 4:13 AM, Don Dailey <dailey.don at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 4:05 AM, "Ingo Althöfer" <3-Hirn-Verlag at gmx.de>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> One general comment:
> >>
> >> Ratings are not transitive. For instance,
> >> A1 may score 25 % against B,
> >> and A2 may score 22 % against B.
> >> Then it can not be concluded that A1 will score more than 50 %
> >> in direct duel with A2.
> >>
> >> It is rather easy it construct triples of "semi-simple" agents A, B, C
> >> for some "normal" game where
> >> A score 95+ percent against B,
> >> B scores 95+ percent against C,
> >> C scores 95+ percent against A.
> >
> >
> > Hi Ingo,
> >
> > The ELO system which tries to model game playing skill mathematically
> makes
> > some assumptions that are not completely true,  but are approximations to
> > the reality.    One assumption made by the ELO system is that skill IS
> > transitive.   It works quite well because in practice human skill and
> > program skill is nearly transitive.    So it has proven to be  a very
> good
> > model indeed.
> >
> > As you say it is not difficult to artificially construct classes of
> players
> > who do not have transitive relationships between each other.   One very
> > simple way to do this is to take 3 equal players,  and give them each a
> > different opening book such that the book will get them quickly into
> losing
> > or winning situations against each other.   You can create your own
> > "rocks/paper/scissors"  non-transitive relationship this way.
> >
> > You can also do it with the playing algorithm but it's a bit more
> difficult
> > but certainly possible.    You give one program a serious weakness that
> one
> > of the other 2 can easily exploit but that the other program cannot
> exploit
> > - so each program has a unique exploitable weakness that only one of the
> > other 2 programs can exploit.
> >
> > Don
> >
> >
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Ingo.
> >>
> >> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
> >> > Datum: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 17:03:33 -0800
> >> > Von: Leandro Marcolino <sorianom at usc.edu>
> >> > An: computer-go at dvandva.org
> >> > Betreff: [Computer-go] Practical significance?
> >>
> >> > Hello all!..
> >> >
> >> > I am currently doing a research about Computer Go. I can't tell the
> >> > details
> >> > about it yet, but I will post them here after (if) my paper is
> >> > accepted...
> >> >
> >> > In my research I compare many systems (An), playing against a fixed
> >> > strong
> >> > adversary (B). So A1 would have a percentage of victory x1 against B,
> >> > while
> >> > A2 would have a percentage of victory x2, etc... Then I compare the
> >> > percentage of victories, and for most cases I can show that one system
> >> > is
> >> > better than another with 95% of confidence. However, my adviser is
> >> > asking
> >> > me about not only the STATISTICAL significance of the results, but
> also
> >> > the
> >> > PRACTICAL significance of them. I mean, if one system is, for example
> >> > only
> >> > 1% better than another, with 99% of confidence, the result would have
> a
> >> > statistical significance, but wouldn't really matter in a practical
> >> > sense.
> >> >
> >> > In my case, the difference between the systems can range from about 4%
> >> > to
> >> > about 23%. Doesn't seem to be enough to argue that one system would be
> >> > one-handicap stone better than another. But what would be the minimum
> >> > difference for me to argue that one system is significantly better
> than
> >> > another, in a practical sense? (or they are not, in the end?..) Would
> >> > calculating ELO-ratings help me in answering this question?
> >> >
> >> > I think it gets even more complex if we think that, let's say,
> changing
> >> > the
> >> > percentage of victory from 95% to 100% seems to be much more
> significant
> >> > (in a practical sense) than changing from 30% to 35%, even though the
> >> > difference between the two systems is still only 5%. In my case, I am
> >> > dealing with percentages of victories that range from around 30% to
> >> > around
> >> > 53%.
> >> >
> >> > What do you guys think?..
> >> >
> >> > Thanks for your help!..
> >> >
> >> > Regards,
> >> > Leandro
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> >
> >
> >
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