[Melbourne-pm] AI Contest - some strategy

Nathan Bailey nathan.bailey at monash.edu
Wed Nov 10 23:32:19 PST 2010

On 11/11/2010, at 5:57 PM, Toby Corkindale wrote:
> On 11/11/10 17:44, Nathan Bailey wrote:
>> I play my new bot against my old bot for
>> all 100, and if my new bot doesn't win a majority of the games, I  
>> rework
>> it!
> I'm not convinced of that strategy, btw.

Hmm. Maybe I've thrown gold away then! :-)

> I was chatting to someone else in the competition who was trying out  
> genetic methods of improving his bot automatically.
> He could get it so that every new generation would find a version  
> that was better than the previous.. but over time, actually became  
> worse at beating other bots.

Interesting - perhaps he could try it against TCP? That way he'd get a  
variety of bots?

> I've seen something similar too.. my current bot is much smarter  
> than the early one, yet the early one's strategy was a bit more  
> random, a bit more defensive, and actually does better against some  
> specific types of enemy bots.
> Actually, for all the extra analysis the current one does, it still  
> does some dumb stuff at times :/

It's somewhat amusing to dig into your bot after it makes a decision  
you (the author!) don't understand :-)

>> Although I've joined Toby in the top 10, I don't think my bot is that
>> sophisticated, and I'm sure I'll be overtaken once y'all have some  
>> time
>> to improve your bots :-)
> What's your username?

I'm nateau, http://ai-contest.com/profile.php?user_id=12857

> I uploaded a new bot, and despite not getting many games given to  
> him yet, my rank dropped first to 13, and then I uploaded another  
> one and now I'm all the way down to 29! WTF?
> I'm guessing this is a "feature" of the ranking system, and  
> hopefully I'll get back up once I get a few more games played.

I (scan) read the Wikipedia article on Elo rankings but didn't feel  
that enlightened :-)
It may just be that your bot has been matched against some strong  
ones, which has made it lose worse than it should.

Oh - one other comment on strategy (presuming there are lurkers on the  
list, just waiting to jump into the fray!) - it's all about growth  
rate. If you lose the battle for growth rate, death is only a matter  
of time...
How you balance growth rate with distance, target planet defences and  
competing enemy fleets while defending yourself is an exercise left to  
the reader :-)

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