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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - Keeping it up after November 2010

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Keeping it up after November 2010

Ideas for the Future

Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby agravier » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:07 am

This contest is great, and I hope to see it again, every year. It's more friendly than TopCoder ot or the MIT AI challenge. Thanks, admins (Thadmins).

I think people like to have this kind of things to motivate them to code for fun. It helps keep whatever language knowledge fresh or acquire new knowledge. I guess most people are not here because they expect to win. Most even probably won't have time to get an intelligently working bot before the deadline. And some people's languages will not get official support. (*cough*, Clojure, *cough*).

I'd like to know if the community that was built arund last year's contest kept hacking? Did some generous soul with servers and bandwidth to spare keep an unoffcial server online, last year? I imagine that the official servers will not remain online after the contest, will they?
Even without this, did people went on exchanging ideas and code? Maybe on some other forum?

PS: I'm using the contest to learn Clojure, I very slowly update . Given my free time, I expect to finish a working bot next year. Hence, my desire to see the discussion, if not the servers, up.
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Re: Keeping it up after November

Postby dimkadimon » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:24 am

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Re: Keeping it up after November

Postby agravier » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:58 am

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Re: Keeping it up after November

Postby aerique » Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:58 pm

Also one of the strong points of this challenge, as opposed to TC, is you can use any language you want as long as you create a starter pack for it.
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Re: Keeping it up after November

Postby jeff.cameron » Thu Nov 18, 2010 1:47 am

Good to hear that people are liking it.

This same issue came up with the Tron contest as well. It seems to be a common desire. As a result, the contests have been getting longer over time. The CSC contests used to last only a few hours back in the day. They've steadily gone from a few days to a few weeks, and now this one is open for almost three months.

Maybe we should launch a new contest every four months or so. After one contest ends, there would be official rankings just like now, but we would leave the old contests up and functional afterwards instead of closing them down. Over time, these contests would stack up.

One fun aspect of this idea is that you could combine people's current rankings from all the different contests to get an overall score.

Another neat feature would be to let people submit new contest game engines just like you can currently submit a new bot. That way the community could make up new games and we could see the launch of new contests every day! The ones that are well-designed would flourish and attract many participants, and the ones that are crappy would not.

These are many ideas for the future. They will take a lot of work to implement, but they are entirely feasible. The contest is open-source, so anyone can help!
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Re: Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby amstan » Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:50 am

I've created this new forum for suggestions for the future. Including game ideas, framework, puny suggestions and stuff like that.
Try to be smart when posting in here.
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Re: Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby jaman4dbz » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:00 am

I believe the original topic question is still open.

Will you guys maintain this server for a while after the competition is finished?

I only JUST finished having my bot reinforce its self. I tripped over my own feet in C++ too many time, stopping me from geting as far as I wanted to.
Because of this, I have a million neat ideas to apply to my bot, with not enough time to do so.

I don't care how official the rankings are, I just want to compare my bots to others, even after the competition is over ;).
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Re: Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby Zannick » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:08 am

People tend to use the TCP server for unofficial competition after the main one ends.

The downsides of course is that there's no one "main" TCP server and many people tend to set up their own, and you use your own hardware, rather than one set of standardized machines that the official server is using.
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Re: Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby mleise » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:44 pm

Keeping the official servers up sounds expensive. The TCP solution is not perfectly fair (geo location, cpu speed differences), but if the scores were some more permanent it could be a good alternative. Maybe the tcp client program could run the bot in a loop every x minutes so it would work as a background process? I also wonder if UDP packets instead of a TCP connection would improve anything. After all the default retransmission timeout (in case of a lost packet on TCP) seems to be around 3 seconds - maybe too long to catch up before the server considers the bot as timed out. I know it is kinda reverse logic. "Use UDP, because the connection isn't protected anyway" :D I'm really unsure about that.
The tcp (or udp) client could also pack and unpack game states to reduce the number of packets when a lot of fleets are on their way. (i.e. use binary representations, send static planet data on first turn only, only send newly spawned fleets over the network and calculate the rest of the flight locally). This would improve the chances that it can run fine on home dsl connections as well (if it doesn't already) and produce some variety. (Take a look at your isp providers usage restrictions though. Mine doesn't allow to run servers on it, although they can be talked with.) People who set up their own server might use different map sets or improve the server software which would benefit the tcp servers for the next context.
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Re: Keeping it up after November 2010

Postby jaman4dbz » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:19 pm

That sounds complicated lol. I'll just look for other peoples code that they may post and i'll just improve my bot till I can beat them.
Dagnammit I should have never used unsigned... so much grief.
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