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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - remove penalty for timeouts

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remove penalty for timeouts

Ideas for the Future

remove penalty for timeouts

Postby Parasprites » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:09 pm

Given the number of people who have reported random timeouts that weren't their fault, I think the penalty for timing out should be removed. I think a bot that times out on one turn should be just be cut off, with any moves made before the time limit being applied, and then the bot continues executing on the next turn like normal. This won't completely fix the problem as there will still be random turns where some bots don't get any moves made, but at least it's better than the current situation. Currently timing out is a near guaranteed loss, which isn't fair for something that players don't necessarily have control over.
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby BenJackson » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:37 pm

As an alternative the engine could track CPU time as well as wall clock and ensure that each ant gets the larger of 500ms of wall or CPU time (in case it was held off). This will penalize ants with wall-clock time constraints since they will still terminate early.
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby ChrisH » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:42 pm

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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby Parasprites » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:51 pm

I guess if it times out on 2 consecutive turns without making a move you could kill it.
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby ChrisH » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:39 pm

Suppose a bot times out on a single turn due to some weird server behavior. In that case the game engine moves forward with the next turn. If the bot continues as "normal", wakes up and finishes sending the orders for the previous turn after the game engine has moved on, what should the engine do with those orders? How does the engine know whether those orders are stale or are real orders for the current turn?
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby Parasprites » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:57 pm

It will know that the orders were meant for last turn if it sends them before sending "go"
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby ChrisH » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:35 pm

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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby Parasprites » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:40 pm

Well I assume that most bots are programmed to output go at the end of the turn before checking for input from the next turn. That's how the C++ starter kit works at any rate. If you want to be sure that people don't try to skip turns, you can add that to the game spec.
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby McLeopold » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:59 pm

Unlike real life, time does wait for bots...
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Re: remove penalty for timeouts

Postby Parasprites » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:58 pm

So what's going to happen?
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