Chips Challenging Champions

1st Edition

Games, Computers and Artificial Intelligence


  • J. Schaeffer
  • H.J. van den Herik
  • Chips Challenging Champions

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    One of the earliest dreams of the fledgling field of artificial intelligence (AI) was to build computer programs that could play games as well as or better than the best human players. Despite early optimism in the field, the challenge proved to be surprisingly difficult. However, the 1990s saw amazing progress. Computers are now better than humans in checkers, Othello and Scrabble; are at least as good as the best humans in backgammon and chess; and are rapidly improving at hex, go, poker, and shogi. This book documents the progress made in computers playing games and puzzles. The book is the definitive source for material of high-performance game-playing programs.


    Members of AI organizations and attendees at major AI conferences, such as AAAI, IJCAI, ECAI, etc. All AI research groups in the world, including academia (most CS departments have one), industry and libraries. Computer-games aficionados.

    Table of Contents

    A. Introduction.
    Games, Computers and Artificial Intelligence (J. Schaeffer, H.J. van den Herik).
    B. Puzzles.
    Disjoint Pattern Database Heuristics (R.E. Korf, A. Felner). Sokoban: Enhancing General Single-Agent Search Methods Using Domain Knowledge (A. Junghanns, J. Schaeffer). A probabilistic Approach to Solving Crossword Puzzles (M.L. Littman, G.A. Keim, N. Shazeer).
    C. Two-Player Perfect-Information Games.
    Deep Blue (M. Campbell, A.J. Hoane Jr, F.-h. Hsu). Improving Heuristic Min-Max Search by Supervised Learning (M. Buro). A Hierarchical Approach to Computer hex (V. Anshelevich). Computer shogi (H. Iida, M. Sakuta, J. Rollason). Computer go (M. Mueller).
    D. Imperfect Information and Stochastic Games.
    Programming Backgammon Using Self-Teaching Neural Nets (G. Tesauro). The Challenge of Poker (D. Billings, A. Davidson, J. Schaeffer, D. Szafron). World-championship-caliber Scrabble (B. Sheppard).
    E. Solved Games.
    Games Solved: Now and in the future (H.J. van den Herik, J.W.H.M. Uiterwijk, J. van Rijswijck).
    Author Index.


    No. of pages:
    © 2002
    North Holland
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the authors

    J. Schaeffer

    Affiliations and Expertise

    University of Alberta, Department of Computing, Alberta, Canada

    H.J. van den Herik

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Universiteit Maastricht, Department of Computer Science, Maastricht, The Netherlands


    @qu:...the editors have succeeded to bring together a truly excellent selection of representative papers by prominent figures in the field.... All in all, it is an interesting book. @source:Computing and Informatics @qu:It was an excellent idea to collect these articles from Artificial Intelligence into a seperate book.... Chips Challenging Champions provides a thorough overview of the state of computer game playing. It is good value for money, and well worth having. @source:International Computer Games Association ICGA Journal