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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - Prepocessed maps - cheat?

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Prepocessed maps - cheat?

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Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby barsandcat » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:12 am

Apparently you can identify which map you are playing on in one turn.
On first turn you are given - hill location, and few water locations. I think, this information is unique for each spawn on each map.
Now, with this information, you can fill out all water and hills locations.
You can have per-computed navigation maps. You can mark good places for defense.

I feel, it is kind of cheat. But it will give competitive advantage - you can have information that is impossible to get with 1000 ms turn limit...

Is this fair? Will maps be regenerated for next stage of competition?
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby dimkadimon » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:22 am

You also have the size of the map which should help in identifying which one it is.

I was wondering about this too. I assume for the final competition the maps will be different. But how different will they be and will we be able to see them before the final competition starts?
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby sir_macelon » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:49 am

The maps are supposed to be changed on a daily basis.
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby barsandcat » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:13 am

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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby GarySWest » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:22 pm

I'm obviously not an official response, but they've already changed the maps at least once, and I they definitely changed the map pool in the Tron competition after Final Submissions. I think it's safe to say that they will do the same in this case, as they should.

My fear with saving all the maps was it opens up the possibility for exploitation of the designers by submitting a few maps with identical start locations to maps currently in the rotation that are different in some critical way for the final submissions. So, even if your bot detects this once found, all that extra time you had toward the beginning of the match for calculating meta-data were wasted not doing so.
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby jlgrall » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:28 pm

Well actually I hope that maps will be changed at least everyday during the final competition. So that a map cannot advantage a set of bots too much.

Otherwise, with some friends, we could each code bots that are optimized for a specific kind of map. And then our team would have a greater chance of winning ;)
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby jholyhead » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:32 pm

This competition is supposed to be for fun, so it would be particularly disappointing if people did try to gain an unfair advantage by exploiting the maps. It might be an idea to cycle the maps a couple of weeks before the end of the open stage of the challenge, to catch out the few people who did try to cheat.

I don't think many people will do so, though, since exploring the map is probably the most interesting part of the problem.
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby amstan » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:35 pm

Trying to remember the maps is a very dumb idea, since they might change.

A good idea is to try to guess the rest of the map given that the maps are symmetrical. Note how food also spawns symmetrically.
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby Janzert » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:18 pm

The set of maps used will change after submissions close and before finals start.
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Re: Prepocessed maps - cheat?

Postby antimatroid » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:05 am

Like Janzert said, the maps used in the final contest will be made with a (or multiple) map generators after the submissions close, so there is little gain to be made from recognising exact maps other than perhaps increasing your bragging rights with the rankings on the main server prior to the final contest.

What we cannot stop you from doing is trying to work out the symmetry parameters of the map, knowledge about this can give you information about the number of players, where water is located in the unexplored parts of the map and where enemy ant hills may still be located.

I can't say that everyone would agree that this is fair play, but personally I take the stance that if it's possible then it's fair game, although I have done my best to make it as hard as possible for people to detect the symmetry information.
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