On Tue, Dec 11, 2001 at 12:41:53PM -0500, Mark Mielke wrote:
> Heck, all of ICQ / MSN / AIM use "sockets" to communicate. Is it illegal
> for a human player to make use of any of these mechanisms of communication?

There is a difference between improving the interpretation of the same
information that is available to every player and gaining new information
that is not supposed to be available to every player.  The more you rely
on the latter to build your robot team, the less credible and interesting
your experiment becomes.

Consider this example.  Human players often call "Fa is free beer" to
indicate a damaged ship.  Suppose that your robot team kept a global and
up-to-date list of all ship stats that are shared by all robots and used it
to guide the team strategy.  Would it work?  Probably.  Is it "fair?"
Probably not.  Is it impressive?  No.

An important part of the netrek game is the ambiguity and the unknown.
Entire games are won on the basis of a fake warp-1 SB that draws oggs at
the end of regulation while teammates drop for the win.  If you have to
rely on GOD-MODE to make up for the insufficient AI heuristics in your
robots who are unable to function under the same conditions as humans,
then your project is simply a math exercise.

If I were writing an AI robot, I would modify the Vanilla code to allow
observers to pilot a ship and get it installed on a public server.  I
would then create an AI robot that could fly the ship to be at the
right place at the right time and send a message to the team saying,
"I should be here, doing this."  If the robot were correct at least 50%
of the time, it'd be very impressive.

Dave Ahn | ahn at vec.wfubmc.edu | Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.  Try to live your life
so that when you die, you will rejoice and the world will cry.  -1/2 jj^2