# CSE 150 Programming Assignment #2 solution

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## Description

1 Overview
In this project, you will develop agents to play the m,n,k-games that includes “Gomoku” and “tic-tac-toe”. You will create a simple minimax agent, an alpha-beta pruning minimax agent and a custom agent of your own design that should outperform your minimax agents.
2 Them,n,k-game
The m,n,k-game is a two-player deterministic game where two players alternatively place stones on a game board. The rules of the generic m,n,k-game is simple:
• There are two players, usually denoted as “black” and “white” (or “X” and ”O” for tic-tac-toe). • The game is played on an m × n game board. Like the game of “Go”, the stones are usually placed on the intersections of lines drawn on the board. (This doesn’t really matter for a computer simulation – we just have m×n locations to place “stones”.) • Black plays ﬁrst and the players take turns alternatively. At each turn, a player places a stone of his color on an unoccupied location on the board. • The player who is the ﬁrst to get k or more stones in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) wins. (This is a departure from the game of Gomoku, where it must be exactly ﬁve stones in a row.) We are calling these “connected” stones as streaks in this assignment. If neither player has streaks of lengths k and the board is full, the game is a draw.
The goal of this assignment is to develop an agent that can play on a large board (up to 19,19,6-game), but we will also develop players for smaller games in the process.
3 ProvidedCode
We have provided code to deal with the basic mechanics of the game, and some stub code for each problem already. Thegamestate,playerandactionsareimplementedintheState,PlayerandActionclassesinsrc/assignment2.py, respectively. While you will not be making modiﬁcations to the ﬁles under src, you will be implementing and submitting various “agents” in the solutions folder. The board attribute of the State object represents the game board in a tuple of M tuples of N elements (M rows and N columns). In this array, 0 represents the empty location, and 1 and 2 represent the stones placed by players 1 and 2, respectively.
1
TestingYourAgent
We have also provided two Player implementations:
• The RandomPlayer in random player.py is a player that places stones at random unoccupied location on the board. • The HumanPlayer in human player.py isaplayerthattakesstoneplacementsfromtheconsole. Youcan usethisplayertoplayagainstthevariousagentsfortesting. Youinputthelocationsbyenteringthetwonumbers separated by a space. For example, entering 0 3 would place a stone on the ﬁrst row, 4th column.
There is a command-line game UI in run game.py that you can use to make the agents play against each other (or against you!) The syntax is:
\$ python run_game.py [M] [N] [K] [timeout] [PlayerClass1] [PlayerClass2]
Here, [M], [N], [K] are the board sizes and the streak length needed to win the game. [timeout] speciﬁes the maximumamountoftimeallowedtomakeamove,inseconds;ifitis−1,there’llbenotimeout. [PlayerClass1] and [PlayerClass2] are the class names of the ﬁrst and second players. For instance, to play a game of tic-tac-toe against the RandomPlayer AI without time limit:
\$ cd src \$ python run_game.py 3 3 3 -1 HumanPlayer RandomPlayer
You can also perform a subset of automated testing by running test problems.py in the tests directory:
\$ cd tests \$ python test_problems.py
This executes the test corresponding to problems 1 to 4 by giving some input in the in directories and comparing the output against ones in out directories. The tests will be reported as a “failure” if the output of your code does not match the text ﬁles the out directories. A good practice is to run the tests before doing the problems and observe that theyfail. Then,onceyouimplementtheproblemscorrectly,yourtestsshouldpass. Therewillbemoretestcasesinthe actual online submission site, and you are encouraged to add more of your own inputs and outputs in the problems directory!
4 Problems
Problem1
Implement a minimax search algorithm in p1 minimax player.py. The game tree can expand quickly with the board size, but you do not need to worry about the efﬁciency for this problem – this will only be tested with small boards. When there are moves with the same values, choose the move that comes earlier in “left-right then top-down” order, with respect to the board. (Note that this should happen automatically if you iterate the actions returned by the action() method.) So, for instance, if placing stones at (0,1) and (1,0) yield same values, (0,1) should be returned, regardless of the last move.
2
Examples
input1.txt
State(3,( (0,2,1), (0,1,2), (0,0,0), ), last_action=Action(2, (0,1)))
output1.txt
Action(1, (0, 0))
Note that there are multiple moves for Player 1 to win, but the ﬁrst winning action returned by state.actions() is at (0,0). (Think about why the algorithm does not return the “obvious” winning action at (2,0).)
input2.txt
State(5,( (9,9,9,9,0,0), (9,9,9,9,0,0), (9,9,9,0,0,9), (9,9,1,9,1,9), (9,1,9,9,1,9), (0,9,9,9,1,9), (9,9,9,9,2,9) ), last_action=Action(2, (6,4)))
output2.txt
Action(1, (1, 4))
In this larger board, “9” is used as a dummy placeholder where neither of the player can place the stone. This is the “four-three” situation in the game of Gomoku; here, after the player 1 places at (1,4), player 2 cannot stop her from connecting 4 stones in the next move. (The 4 stone chain without ends blocked cannot be stopped.)
Problem2
Implementaminimaxsearchalgorithmwithalpha-betapruningandtranspositiontableinp2 alphabeta player.py. With these two optimizations, the code should be able to handle slightly larger branching factors than the simple minimax agent.
Examples
input2.txt
State(5,( (9,9,0,0,0,0), (9,9,9,0,0,0), (9,9,9,0,0,9), (9,9,1,9,1,9), (9,1,9,9,1,9), (0,9,9,9,1,9),
3
(9,9,9,9,2,9) ), last_action=Action(2, (6,4)))
output2.txt
Action(1, (1, 4))
This is essentially the same situation as in Problem 1, but with slightly more empty locations where the stones could be placed. The MinimaxPlayer would take too long to evaluate, but the AlphaBetaPlayer should be able to handle this case.
Problem3
Implementasimpleevaluationfunctioninp3 evaluation player.py. Incontrasttotheprevioustwoproblems, you don’t have to implement the move method, but you will implement the state evaluation function; the agent will then play at the location that would yield the best evaluation. The evaluate method in this problem should return the length of the longest streak on the board (of the given stonecolor),dividedby K. Sincethelongeststreakyoucanachieveis K,thevaluereturnedwillbeinrange [1/K,1].
Examples
(In these examples, the color is assumed to be 1, i.e. the evaluation is for the player 1.)
input1.txt
State(4,( (0,2,1,0), (0,1,2,0), (0,0,0,0), (0,0,0,0) ), last_action=Action(2, (0,1)))
output1.txt
0.5
The longest streak is 2, so the evaluate() method should return 2.0/4.0.
input2.txt
State(5,( (0,0,0,0,0,0), (0,0,0,0,1,0), (0,0,0,1,0,0), (0,0,1,0,1,0), (0,1,0,0,1,0), (0,0,0,0,1,0), (0,0,0,0,2,0) ), last_action=Action(2, (6,4)))
output2.txt
0.8
4
Problem4 Implement a custom agent that can play any m,n,k-game, up to K = 6 on 19 × 19 board (M,N = 19,K = 6) in the p4 custom player.py ﬁle. Rename the class and override the name() method to your liking. After the homework submission deadline, we’ll also have atournamentamongallsubmittedagents with different per-move time limits. There’ll be prizes for the winning agents and extra credits for especially clever / innovative agents! A good start will be to implement an iterative deepening minimax search with alpha-beta pruning, transposition table andmove-orderingbasedontheevaluationfunctionofProblem3. Openingheuristicsmayalsobeneeded,especially when the board is so large. However, you’re free to improve on these. The code should be written so that it can search to arbitrary depths depending on the board size and allowed time. To do this, follow these guidelines:
1. Check for the self.is time up() condition often in your main computation loop (searching through the game tree, for example). 2. Oncethe self.is time up() becomes True,yourcodeshouldﬁnishupandreturnthemoveasquicklyas possible. Therewillonlybeaboutonesecondallocatedforthisportion, soitshouldonlydo“quick”operations to ﬁnish up (such as calculating the best move from the tree you’ve searched.)
Again, make sure self.is time up() is checked somewhat frequently, so that your code will be less likely to be terminated abruptly. If the method does not return a move in time, a random move will be played instead! You can test the agents under time limit by specifying the number of seconds per move in the fourth parameter of the run game.py. For example, to play a 19,19,6-game with a 10-second per move limit,
\$ cd src \$ python run_game.py 19 19 6 10 HumanPlayer YourCustomPlayer
Problem5
Submit a write-up for this project in PDF. You should include the following:
• Description of the problem and the algorithms used to solve problems 2 – 4. • Describe the approach you used in Problem 4 and other approaches you tried / considered, if any. Which techniques were the most effective? • Evaluate qualitatively how your custom agent plays. Did you notice any situations where they make seemingly irrational decisions? What could you do/what did you do to improve the performance in these situations? • What is the maximum number of empty squares on the board for which the minimax agent can play in a reasonable amount of time? What about the alpha-beta agent and your custom agent, in the same amount of time? • Create multiple copies of your custom agents with different depth limits. (You can do this by copying the p4 custom player.py ﬁle to other * player.py and changing the class names inside.) Make them play against each other in at least 10 games on a game with K 3. Report the number of wins, losses and ties in a table. Discuss your ﬁnding. • A paragraph from each author stating what their contribution was and what they learned. Your writeup should be structured as a formal report, and we will grade based on the quality of the writeup, including structure and clarity of explanations.