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Monte Carlo tree search algorithms that can play the Lord of the Rings card game

An illustration combining completely different brokers in a single spherical of play on the card sport Lord of the Rings. Credit: Godlewski & Sawicki.

When machine studying algorithms and different computational instruments began changing into more and more superior, many laptop scientists got down to check their capabilities by coaching them to compete in opposition to people at completely different video games. One of the well-known examples is AlphaGo, the pc program developed by DeepMind (a deep studying firm later acquired by Google), which was skilled to compete in opposition to people on the advanced and summary technique board sport Go.

Over the previous decade or so, builders have skilled quite a few different fashions to play in opposition to people at technique video games, board games, laptop video games and card video games. A few of these synthetic brokers have achieved exceptional outcomes, beating established human champions and sport specialists.

Researchers at Warsaw University of Expertise have just lately got down to develop a way primarily based on Monte Carlo tree search (MCTS) algorithms that might play the Lord of the Rings (LotR) classic card game, launched in 2011 by Fantasy Flight Video games. An MCTS algorithm is a common heuristic resolution methodology that may optimize the looking answer area in a given sport or state of affairs, by taking part in a sequence of random video games, often called ‘playouts’. The researchers introduced their MCTS approach in a current paper pre-published on arXiv.

“We are fans of the card game LotR, but we found that there were no existing AI approaches that could play this game,” Bartosz Sawicki and Konrad Godlewski, the 2 researchers who carried out the research, advised TechXplore. “Nonetheless, we found applications of tree search methods for similar card games such as Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone.”

The principle motive why a computational methodology that may play the LotR card sport didn’t but exist is that growing such a technique is very difficult. In reality, LotR is a cooperative card sport characterised by an enormous area of potential options, a posh logical construction and the opportunity of random occasions occurring. These qualities make the sport’s guidelines and methods very troublesome to accumulate by computational strategies.

“The 2016 Go tournament was the last moment when human players had a chance to compete with AI players,” Sawicki and Godlewski defined. “The objective of our paper was to implement an MCTS agent for the LotR game.”

The LotR card sport is troublesome to check to different fantasy and journey card video games, similar to Magic the Gathering, Gwent or Hearthstone. In reality, in distinction with these different video games, LotR is designed to be performed alone or as a cooperative staff, quite than in competitors with different gamers. As well as, the decision-making processes within the sport are extremely advanced, because the gameplay contains a number of phases, most of which rely upon the end result of the earlier stage.

Regardless of these challenges, Sawicki and Godlewiski have been capable of develop an MCTS-based methodology that might play LotR. They then evaluated the approach they developed in a sequence of assessments, carried out on a sport simulator.

“Our MCTS agent achieved a significantly higher win rate than a rule-based expert player,” Sawicki and Godlewski mentioned. “Moreover, by adding domain knowledge to the expansion policy and MCTS playouts, we were able to further improve the model’s overall efficiency.”

The current work by Sawicki and Godlewski proves that it’s potential to efficiently mix completely different AI and computational strategies to create synthetic brokers that may play advanced and cooperative multi-stage video games, such because the LotR card sport. Nonetheless, the staff discovered that utilizing MCTS to sort out these advanced video games may have vital limitations.

“The main problem is that MCTS merges game logic with the AI algorithm, so you have to know the legal moves when you are building a game tree,” Sawicki and Godlewski defined. “Yet debugging for game trees with significant branching factor is a nightmare. There were many cases in which the program ran smoothly, but the win rate was zero, and we had to examine the whole tree manually.”

Sooner or later, the MCTS-based approach developed by this staff of researchers may very well be utilized by LotR fans to play the sport in collaboration with an AI. As well as, this current research might encourage the event of different AI instruments that may play advanced, strategic and multi-stage video games. Of their present and future research, Sawicki and Godlewski wish to additionally discover the potential and efficiency of deep reinforcement studying (RL) brokers skilled on the LotR sport.

“Our current work focuses on using RL methods to further improve the performance of AI agents in the game,” Sawicki and Godlewski added. “In this case, given a game state, the neural network returns an action executed by the environment (i.e., the game simulator). This is tricky, because the number of actions varies in different states and policy networks can only have a fixed number of outputs. So far, our results are promising, and we will explain how we achieved these results in an upcoming article.”

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Extra info:
Konrad Godlewski, Bartosz Sawicki, Optimisation of MCTS Participant for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Recreation. arXiv:2109.12001v1 [cs.LG],

Konrad Godlewski, Bartosz Sawicki, MCTS primarily based brokers for multistage single-player card sport. arXiv:2109.12112v1 [cs.AI],

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Monte Carlo tree search algorithms that may play the Lord of the Rings card sport (2021, October 8)
retrieved 8 October 2021

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