Evolution of a Go program

About the development of Moyo Go Studio, software to (help) play the Oriental game of Go. Go is a two-player zero-sum game of perfect information. It is considered much harder than Chess. Currently, in spite of enormous effort expended, no computer program plays it above the level of a beginner.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Genetic Evolution

While slowly progressing on the new Fuseki module (due to deteriorating health and the Christmas period), I have firmly decided to go for "genetics" for the future Go playing part of Moyo Go Studio. This is not an impulsive decision - four years ago I already publicly mulled "GenetiGo" as a possible name for my future Go program.

My girlfriend Martina went cross-country skiing, and I am cooking beans and reindeer stew.

Interestingly, it is due to my health problems that Moyo Go exists at all, because otherwise I would still have been a freelance Divemaster/desert guide here:

Nothing focuses the mind better than being constantly aware of one's mortality.

This picture is where I have lived for two years, one year most literally, when I got permission to build a hut on a beach "owned" by a Tarabin bedouin family. My water came from their basin, filled every few months by a truck. I washed myself in the sea and walked barefoot for a year until the callus on the soles resembled hooves.

Usually when I get "firm resolves", I am so convinced that it will work that my first thought is: "Keep it secret", but I will blog about progress on this. I have a pretty good idea of how things are going to work, and I'm glad I have secured ownership of that dual-CPU dual-core 275, even though I recently resigned and I did not get it as cheaply as I had planned. The beast will be the key to efficient genetic evolution of a Go program. I'll let each CPU pit a (64-bit) evolving version against the other.

Later I'll write about the general workings of such a system, because it's always nice to get some feedback by email.