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Re: [Bug-gnubg] Permit GNU to consider deliberate cube errors

From: Ned Cross
Subject: Re: [Bug-gnubg] Permit GNU to consider deliberate cube errors
Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2006 14:32:46 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060516)

I think this is an interesting idea, but the basic premise seems questionable to me. The equity values used by bots for given positions are derived from bot v bot 'perfect' play. Accurate cube decisions require accurate knowledge of absolute equities. But in real life, human v human games, you can't know the true equities for various reasons. Will opponent handle a recube effectively? Will opponent (or player) move the checkers well in the ensuing positions? Will opponent make correct choices between going for gammons or playing to save gammons? Will opponent incorrectly take or drop cubes now or at a later time?

Trying to subjectively modify the bot's grading scale risks losing the integrity of the scale completely.

Making a play that sacrifices equity, then crediting yourself if it 'works' is playing the results, which we all have learned is not the right way to think and improve. It can certainly lead to 'Fancy Play Syndrome' where we outplay ourselves by overdoing it.

GNU and Snowie already tell you the parameters for which it is appropriate to deviate from the 'proper' cube action ( ie - NoDouble, but correct to double if opponent will pass 25% of the time).

For match play, are you using the right MET? What is the true gammon rate for matches between you and your opponents? For example I play a gentleman in our weekly club tournaments who routinely drops takeable cubes, doubles and redoubles late, and does not aggressively pursue gammons when there are slight risks of losing the game. His checkerplay is basically strong, better than mine in some ways, worse in others. What MET should we use, and how should I grade my cube decisions? I'm not really sure because of how all the variables interact (it's tempting to revert to an older MET with a lower gammon rate), so I just keep my modern MET in effect.

I think the 'player adjusted' ratings Albert is looking for already exist in the scoresheet. That said, I DO feel there should be a rating adjustment for ggraccoon's insane luck factor!

Albert Silver wrote:
I had thought of 'filtering' this via a pre-evaluationprocess, where GNU
would use my proposal to grade the respective players, and if it saw that
Player 1 would be rated at least Advanced or Expert in cube play then it
would presume the errors were deliberate (without this, it would obviously
say the player was much worse since it would be giving full value to the
deliberate errors). And if the end result was still a very poor grade, then
it would presume the mutual errors were due to lack of skill.
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