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Strategies anticipating a difference in search depth using opponent-model search

Authors
Journal
Theoretical Computer Science
0304-3975
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
252
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0304-3975(00)00077-3
Keywords
  • Opponent Modelling
  • Speculative Play
  • α-β 2Pruning
  • Othello

Abstract

Abstract In this contribution we propose a class of strategies which focus on the game as well as on the opponent. Preference is given to the thoughts of the opponent, so that the strategy under investigation might be speculative. We describe a generalization of OM search, called ( D,d)-OM search, where D stands for the depth of search by the player and d for the opponent's depth of search. A known difference in search depth can be exploited by purposely choosing a suboptimal variation with the aim to gain a larger advantage than when playing the objectively best move. The difference in search depth may have the result that the opponent does not see the variation in sufficiently deep detail. We then give a pruning alternative for ( D,d)-OM search, denoted by α-β 2 pruning. A best-case analysis shows that α-β 2 prunes very efficiently, comparable to the efficiency of α-β with regard to minimax. The effectiveness of the proposed strategy is confirmed by simulations using a game-tree model including an opponent model and by experiments in the domain of Othello.

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