On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 04:55:04PM -0800, Tom Holub wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 05, 2001 at 06:18:51PM -0500, Mark Mielke wrote:
> > As the stupidest example, 'clued' humans will attempt to phaser the
> > cloaker to obtain their exact co-ordinates, most especially during
> > LPS. How much fuel is wasted with 2 or 3 'clued' humans all trying to
> > make their best guess, all possibly missing? If the bots were in
> > communication with each other, one bot could be assigned the area
> > covered by the radius of the enemy ship at all possibly points along
> > its phaser line, with a preference offered for the ship with the most
> > powerful phaser, at the least range, at the most probable location
> > that we suspect the cloaker is at. (Interpolate his co-ordinates given
> > the approximatings offered by the server every few updates)
> This shows a lack of understanding of netrek dynamics.  First of all, 
> phaserlocking isn't that hard, and humans do it better than computers,
> because humans do fuzzy things better than computers.  If you feed a
> computer bad data (as the netrek server does with cloakers), it will 
> take an enormous amount of programming effort to make it perform as
> well as a human would.

Not to be rude, but... well, duh... :-)

Of course math and experience needs to be coded in. :-)

This doesn't prove that a human is better. It just means that you can't
think of the top of *your* head how you could make it be better. If you
thought for a while, you would come up with things...

> But that's not even the interesting point.  The interesting point is
> that tactical perfection is only a small help in winning netrek games,
> and another thing computers are bad at is dynamic strategizing, which
> is the most important thing in winning netrek games.

You assume that Netrek is a complicated game like Life. It isn't,
regardless as to how esteemed the 'clued' would like to feel. It is
certainly an art, but believe it or not, it is possible to make a
computer beat the best chess player in the world. It just takes a
lot of investment into strategy and other such things up front.

> > Other possibilities include "I'm going to plasma him, press him away
> > from you and phaser him, and torp him so that we can distract him. The
> > *instant* he phasers you, I'll launch the plasma."
> Getting robots to do this level of communication is well beyond the
> point of diminishing returns.  Maybe you get one extra plasma hit over
> the course of an entire game.

This is one of among 1000 things I would complete my attempt with.

> > Just some examples of how *theoretically* a bot team could be
> > significantly better than a human team.
> Your examples are all in tactical situations.  A tactically perfect
> bot, using the best netrek robot strategy code ever written, would get
> its butt kicked by any reasonable human team.  Although that's partly
> because the people writing netrek robots tend to spend a lot of time
> on stupid shit like trying to improve dogfighting and phaserlocking
> and not enough time on interesting and difficult problems, like
> whether to refuel in place, try to mutual and get a fresh ship, go to
> a planet to refuel, or go back to core to pick armies.  (To give one
> small example of the kind of decisions robots are extremely bad at).

This sounds like a dare. If I had some more spare time I'd ask you to
put money on it.


mark at mielke.cc/markm at ncf.ca/markm at nortelnetworks.com __________________________
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