What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

pier4r
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What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#1 » 17 Dec 2016, 19:00

Actually the question could be generalized to "what is your process to develop a long term project?" since AIs should be kept up to date, so this game actually has a nice potential to teach planning, versioning, persistence and several other nice concepts.

So my approach is according to something that I learned the hard way in my life: according to necessity.

Every time I have a major idea it seems like "oh no, I should fix all those AIs now" or "I should create an AI set for every map". Instead I force myself to start small.

First I start with generic AIs, then I duplicate them to create an evolution branch to cover a particular case (normally a certain map). When I found a generic fix valid for several AIs, I do it first on the AI that gets deployed, if the map for specialized AIs does not appear, those do not get modified. Of course I need to keep notes to remember what I should modify.

In this way I do not get the idea that the work to do is so much, that maybe is better not to play. I do small changes, but continuously and slowly my AI gets better. Actually is like one should improve in life, slowly but always. Another one that is doing this, in my opinion, is Mgblitz, that is always there after a while with almost 3000 games.
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pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#2 » 26 Dec 2016, 16:50

no one?
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MGBlitz81
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#3 » 26 Dec 2016, 17:27

I have a basic strategy in my head that I start with. Then I don't worry about points and test live games. I fix what needs fixing and then borrow ideas from others if it seems consistently better than what I'm currently doing. Then, I keep this new information in my head and add it to my basic strategy for future AIs.

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HBomb
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#4 » 26 Dec 2016, 19:08

1. Make AI.
2. Feel smart.
3. Get rekt
4. Make a small change.
5. Probably still get rekt.
6. Make a whole subroutine.
7. Win a fight.
8. Go to step 2.

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Ritter Runkel
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#5 » 27 Dec 2016, 09:15

In the beginning ... Feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities. So I start thinking what I could do with tags or new game modes.

Then I realize that I've to begin from zero and I couldn't reuse that much

Then I stop playing for two days, thinking all the time that it's to much work to rebuild.

After three days I can't hold it, to much ideas what can be done with the new features. I start with priority map because it's a nice generic map where you need generic AIs.

After I made my first version, I want to test it in multiplayer. I get five mind games (which I lose), two spirals (of course, I lose them to) and one circle (no more description needed) before I get my first fight on priority map. There I see that opponents AI is even more buggy then mine.

After that there is an evolutionary process. Test, tweak, more tests in multiplayer, even more tweaks. On multiplayer I try to understand why I lose some matches and why I win others. That informations a going to the next iteration

pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#6 » 27 Dec 2016, 16:11

Another part of the evolution process for me teaches a lot about how to handle programs and projects: https://www.reddit.com/r/pireThoughts/w ... h_concepts
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Ritter Runkel
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#7 » 27 Dec 2016, 16:25

Very nice one. Fun to read and yes, it is almost the same in all projects, first you have to think, then you must start and improve. Sounds easy, mostly it's not

pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#8 » 02 Jan 2017, 22:55

I add something. In evolving slowly my programs I care more about how the program should behave in battle and if it does not behave as I want I fix the problem. So I do not focus much about how the bots of the opponent behave, unless I lose constantly in a map that I like.

For example in seven wonders and set your priorities I am happy if I lose just for one resource while it is obvious that I should try a resource rush.
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pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#9 » 07 Jan 2017, 13:17

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Ritter Runkel
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#10 » 07 Jan 2017, 16:06

Thx

MGBlitz81
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#11 » 07 Jan 2017, 16:18

my new process...

delete everything, start over... it's fun!

pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#12 » 07 Jan 2017, 19:10

MGBlitz81 wrote:my new process...

delete everything, start over... it's fun!


Yup, but that is true if you think that the previous stuff cannot be improved without a major rework
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Botique
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#13 » 20 Jan 2017, 16:52

My bots are being tested against standard bots of the game itself. I try to win on standard situations... and don't loose to some stupid things which I can avoid...

Until I can't win all the games against standard AI I don't try it at multiplayer.

When multiplayer kicks in, I don't rush into 'fixing' my bot unless I see some very common pattern I am not programmed... and if I start winning majority of maps, first I try to tinker with bot types and positioning of those types... and switching some AIs...

I still yet to hit the very top of the Masters (already in masters), so I haven't try to do close up analysis of some specific fights.

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Chunkymonkey
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#14 » 21 Jan 2017, 08:01

MGBlitz81 wrote:my new process...

delete everything, start over... it's fun!


Yup, seems to work for me.

88.7% win rate with my new AI.

Alpha 7 new filters seemed like a big enough jump that starting from scratch seemed like the best choice.

Alpha 8 will probably make me re do it all again.

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Chunkymonkey
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#15 » 21 Jan 2017, 08:06

Botique wrote:When multiplayer kicks in, I don't rush into 'fixing' my bot unless I see some very common pattern I am not programmed... and if I start winning majority of maps, first I try to tinker with bot types and positioning of those types... and switching some AIs...


This is a good way to go about things. One or two losses doesn't mean that your bot is broken.

pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#16 » 21 Jan 2017, 10:13

Yeah I see many just changing continuously without waiting for statistical impact.
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pier4r
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#17 » 01 Feb 2017, 21:09

A possible error, that catches me a lot, is being impatient and change something in an Ai after every loss. Unless one has the nullpointer/tct dedication, or one discovers obvious bugs, it is also ok to keep an AI or a tactic on a map frozen as long as the major part of hard opponents (players with equal or higher score, but not too high) are beaten.

Otherwise one tries to focus on too many changes that then consume too much time and may make the tactics worse.
Last edited by pier4r on 01 Feb 2017, 22:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Ritter Runkel
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#18 » 01 Feb 2017, 21:10

+1

ConsciouS-0nE
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#19 » 02 Feb 2017, 08:23

pier4r wrote:A possible error, that catches me a lot, is being impatient and change something in an Ai after every loss. Unless one has the nullpointer/tct dedication, or one discovers obvious bugs, it is also ok to keep an AI or a tactic on a map frozen as long as the major part of hard opponents (players with equal or higher score, but not too high) are beaten.

Otherwise one tries to focus on too many changes that then consume too much time and may make the tactics worse.



100% me, i know its happening but i still do it. Dunno why.
Im not the best player, but atleast im something.I'm 8
Science is madness! 3:)

harthag
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Re: What is the process of evolution/development of your AIs?

Post#20 » 08 Feb 2017, 21:55

When I was done with the tutorials, I was left with a very simple and generic AI that was probably very similar to whate everyone else had when they reached that point, and it consisted of 3-5 main 'parts' (depending on how you categorize): 1. attack, 2. evade, 3. score, 4.(3b?) catch resource, 5.(2b?,1b?) movement.

From that point, I basically watched battles for ways to improve any one of those 'parts' and soon I had the workings of several small subroutines, and I reached that point just in time for the subroutines update to the game, so I converted them all to subroutines at that point. In my case, there were 4: Score, Evade, Attack, Catch. All movement was split between them.

After that, I watched games for very specific tactics, strategies, weaknesses in my own AIs, weaknesses and strengths in enemy AIs, etc., and each time I saw one, I build a small and simple subroutine to try and mimic any benefits I identified. Then I'd compare those new ones to my "big 4" and see if they fit nicely in to any of them, and I did that using these methods (in order of my priority):
1. directly modify one of the 'big 4' subroutines
2. add the new subroutine as a 'sub-subroutine' to one of the 'big 4'
3. add it as a new 'primary' subroutine (go from 'big 4' to 'big 5' without altering any of the original 4)
4. break an existing 'big 4' in to multiple pieces to accomplish the goal (go from 'big 4' to 'big 5' but completely destroying one of them and replacing it with 2 new and unique ones)
5. combine existing routines (go from 'big 5' back to 'big 4')
6. reorder the existing subroutines or sub-subroutines
7. create an entirely new main AI, with it's own 'big 4' plus the new concept subroutine
8. scrap the new idea

At this point, I have 4 main AIs, one of them has a 'big 3', two have a 'big 4', and one has 'big 5' subroutines. Of all the 'big' subroutines, two of them are common across all main AIs, one is used on 3 out of 4 main AIs, one is used on 2 of the main AIs, and 3 of them are unique to their main AI. There are a total of only 7 'big' subroutines.

I have no sub-subroutines currently in use in any of my main AIs or any of those 7 'big' subroutines, but I have 8 of them currently in testing for consideration.

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