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Student: Ngo, Thuan Van Report 6

Question 5.
(a) Find out any idea to use PNS or CNS for a certain purpose like critical position identification.
(b) Is it possible to extend the critical position identification method to single-agent problem?

(a) In terms of conspiracy numbers search, the new tree-growth procedure is based on conspiracy
numbers as a measure of the accuracy of the root minimax value of an incomplete tree. Conspiracy
numbers measure the number of leaf nodes whose value must change in order to change the
minimax root value by a given amount. Additionally, for the critical position in a game, we can
consider the state that causes to the change in final result being a critical position.
Now, we consider a two-agent problem, it is a whole tree to represent a game and the value of root
of the tree indicates the result of game. In other words, the game turns from loss to win state and
vice versa for a player, which can be realized via inspecting a specific amount for the value of the
root (perhaps an interval of values), assumingly the pivot value. Conspiracy-number search enables
to intentionally modify the root by changing some expecting leaves, therefore we may identify the
critical position for a game by some steps as follows:
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Determining the pivot value for the root by investigating rules of a game.
Traversing tree by following conspiracy-number based search, for each level of the traversal, first
try changing the value of nodes (considering as leaves of a current-level subtree) at that level.
Second, checking if the value of root could change such that the changed value causes the
reversed result of the game then the state of nodes at that level may represent for critical
positions.
Saving critical positions

Expanding to PNS algorithm, the critical position can be also determined in the same way.
(b) In case of single-agent problem such as Sudoku, Nonograms, or Cross words, we also define the
critical position as the state at which the result of the game is determined i.e. the player themselves
will absolutely lose or win the game after a specific move. By applying CNS or PNS algorithm, it is
possible to discover a node on the tree on which the modification changes the result of the game,
therefore we can extend the critical position identification method to single-agent problems.
References:
1. An Analysis of the Conspiracy Numbers Algorithm by Lisa Lister, Jonathan Schaeffer.
2. Game-tree search using proof numbers: the first twenty years by Akihiro Kishimoto, Mark H.M.
Winands, Martin Muller, Jahn-Takeshi Saito.
3. PDS-PN: A New Proof-Number Search Algorithm application to Lines of Action by Mark H.M.
Winands, Jos W.H.M. Uiterwijk, and H. Jaap van den Herik.
4. Lecture note: Understanding Masters Mind - from Creating to Understanding - Professor Dr.
Hiroyuki Iida JAIST-IS