Enhancing history-based move ordering in game playing using adaptive data structures

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  • This paper pioneers the avenue of enhancing a well-known paradigm in game playing, namely the use of History-based heuristics, with a totally-unrelated area of computer science, the field of Adaptive Data Structures (ADSs). It is a well-known fact that highly-regarded game playing strategies, such as alpha-beta search, benefit strongly from proper move ordering, and from this perspective, the History heuristic is, probably, one of the most acclaimed techniques used to achieve AI-based game playing. Recently, the authors of this present paper have shown that techniques derived from the field of ADSs, which are concerned with query optimization in a data structure, can be applied to move ordering in multi-player games. This was accomplished by ranking opponent threat levels. The work presented in this paper seeks to extend the utility of ADS-based techniques to two-player and multi-player games, through the development of a new move ordering strategy that incorporates the historical advantages of the moves. The resultant technique, the History-ADS heuristic, has been found to produce substantial (i.e, even up to 70%) savings in a variety of two-player and multi-player games, at varying ply depths, and at both initial and midgame board states. As far as we know, results of this nature have not been reported in the literature before.

  • Polk, S. (Spencer), & Oommen, J. (2015). Enhancing history-based move ordering in game playing using adaptive data structures. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-24069-5_21
Date Created
  • 2015-01-01


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