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[Bug-gnubg] New positions for training database

From: Frank Berger
Subject: [Bug-gnubg] New positions for training database
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 10:17:59 +0200

Another source of interesting positions would be to generate games from
the Nackgammon start position. With more chequers back, there will be
lots of interesting holding games, as well as a decent share of
backgames, which are another challenging area.

Frank Berger once told me that he tried to train a net from
nackgammon starting position. IIRC the new net turned out to play
slightly weaker in backgames than the original one, but I don't have
details about his experiment.
I benched the new NG net against the fully trained BG net.
The result were that the NG-net were wearker, but in NG it did a little better. When the new NG matured, it still did better in NG than in BG. The funny thing were that the difference in playing strength between playing NG and BG for the old net and the new NG-net get smaller and smaller. When the new NG net was fully trained the difference between the nets were approx. 1point/100 cubeless games. When I did that in 2002 or so, the HW was much slower, so maybe I try it again later.

Interesting. That's a surprise to me. I would have thought there would
be benefits. I haven't played much nackgammon myself, so I don't know
how games evolve. Maybe with both sides having four men back, reasonably
timed one-sided backgames rarely evolve.
For GNU it may work better, because of the different training methods (BGBlitz uses straight TD(lambda)-Training). I would guess it's worth a try.

Another approach might start from prototype holding games and backgames such as found in Kit Woolsey's Encyclopaedia. The idea being that these
are common positions, so it is useful to have plenty of data for
accurate training.
If you enter the positions, could you please send me a copy?


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