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What info to Save

More than one opinion here-

Dave Mold says to collect acceleration and change in heading.

Plenty say to collect velocity and change in heading (these could be equivalent for good data)

Paul Evans says to collect what firing angle should have been used based on distance and last direction of motion.

A good circular aimer might collect only the velocity for several turns and the change in heading for several turns (to average them).

Other ideas? Is it worthwhile to save information about your opponent's offense? --Kawigi

This depends heavily on what aiming methods and movement system you are using. Heading change and velocity is good for playback when PatternMatching. 0.9.9.x versions of Marshmallow used to keep information on what dodging angles it had used and how they had worked. Is that what you mean by "opponent's offense"? -- PEZ

That's the general idea, although I was thinking in a more advanced sense - if you try and track their bullets, store the powers the opponent tends to use, and when you got hit, if it appears he used direct, linear, circular, pattern, statistical, or other aiming techniques. Just a thought that probably goes under DodgingBullets. -- Kawigi

Well, I think that might be a bit too much work for a rather slow learning process. Few bots rely on linear or circular aim alone, but instead use them if it seems you are moving in a particular pattern. If you have a good pattern matcher yourself you might use it to neutralise any pattern matcher the enemy might have by making sure you don't go where your own pattern matcher guesses you'll go. Same thing with statistical aim (which is what those 0.9.9.x version of Marshmallow tried to do). But you'll need something along the lines of AntiGravityMovement to do the "avoid" part of the plan. (Which is where Marshmallow failed since it doesn't use anti-grav...). Indeed, if it seems the enemy relies in HeadOnTargeting you might shift to a particular movement strategy where direct aim never hits. (Like moving like Walls or some such). -- PEZ

It's certainly easy to shift to a movement that beats HeadOnTargeting. One thing I toyed with was a bullet dodging technique that wasn't quite perfect, and I had it just print "AM I HIT?" every time it got hit by a defensive virtual bullet. Then it would print "I'M HIT" in onHitByBullet?. Virtually all the time, the "I'M HIT" message came amidst a few "AM I HIT" messages. It seems like one could figure out what's hitting me most of the time when I get hit, and use that to my advantage. Pattern-matching yourself is a good idea, too, sometimes, I think I've noticed MogBot doing it. It may be even better to implement multiple pattern-matchers (an acceleration-change in heading one, a velocity-change in heading one, one that just looks for the frequency in changes in direction, etc), to have good defense against any of them (of course, after awhile, there's just a bullet everywhere.

The avoid part can be done without antigravity, antigravity is just a convenient way to do it that doesn't take much processor time if it's done right. SpareParts has a Bullet-dodging movement that works well in general (dodges just HeadOnTargeting, LinearTargeting, and CircularTargeting, both with velocity averaging and without). It just searches for the closest point that it can be at that doesn't intersect any "Virtual Lasers" that I create for each projected bullet. -- Kawigi

Yes, it is because avoiding direct aim is so easy I thought it might be worth it to implement a check for it and the antidote. And while few bots rely on circular or linear aim some does rely on direct aim. Try using direct aim only against Marshmallow and you might find that it is quite effective... The problem with pattern matching is that it is time consuming. Though you can of course record lots of parameters and empirically try to figure what works best. Your search for "safe" points is something like what I mean when I speak about WantedTerrain. -- PEZ

But collecting info doesn't cost anything so you could collect just about anything. Marshmallow certainly does... It's when it comes to using the info where you might pay a price (like with PatternMatching) and certainly when you want to save data between matches, which is where WhatToSaveBetweenRounds (and matches) comes in. -- PEZ

What to save Between Rounds

You can save pretty much everything and anything you collect. You shouldnt variable things between battles (positions, time, etc) but beyond that, keep all important info in static variables and they will stay between rounds.

What to save Between Battles

Ok, I am currently porting various guns from testbots into Raven and his Virtual gun array, but i'm struggling to decide what to store between battles. Although there will probably be more, the key guns i'm looking to port are PatternMatcher, GuessFactorTargetting, VirtualBullets. The question is do i store the stats for each of the individual guns between battles, the stats for the virtual guns, or both???

Also, how many bot's should i leave capacity to store?? -- Brainfade

That can be a tough question. My opinion is that you should probably at least store your VG stats and your info for guns that aren't particularly expensive to save (like your guess-factor gun probably). The problem that leaves you with is if you test a bot and you run long matches, the pattern-matcher might get pretty good, but then in real competition, it will remember that the PM was good but forget that it doesn't have much saved on the pattern-matcher. Something on FloodHT's todo list is adding a pattern-matcher that 'rates' the matches I get (either by how close they are or how long, depending on the nature of the PM) and then stores VG stats for each possible strength (so say I find a pattern of length 20, I'll use that instead of the Guess-factor gun, but if I find a match of length 4, I won't, regardless of how much pattern I know). -- Kawigi

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Last edited July 8, 2005 5:53 EST by Jokester (diff)