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AI Challenge Forums • View topic - Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

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Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Ideas for the Future

Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby cowtippervirus » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:22 am

The AI challenge game engine for ants was awesome. However, the biggest thing it lacked in this last contest was player timing feedback. It was nice to be able to access bot input, but some (most?) of the bots weren't perfectly deterministic due to timing cutoffs. It would be nice to have access to debugging information to get a sense of the server's capabilities, to see where your code is spending it's time, to see how much timing variation the server has, and to trace down bugs that may not appear locally.

My proposal:
Define a unique name (i.e. Bot.debug) for a debug file. As part of the upload process, delete this file (to ensure bandwidth isn't wasted if it isn't generated on the server). At the end of every game, if this file exists in the bot's directory, email it to the bot's owner. Emailing is the easiest way I can think of to manage this content - you don't have to store it on the server, you don't have to add extra web pages, etc. The email also helps enforce file size limits (don't email it if it's more than a few MB) and puts the storage and most of the bandwidth costs on the users (you don't pay for long-term storage, and you only send the data once). Obviously, the extra file write delay means less time for the bot, so I imagine most people would not leave debugging versions of their bot on the server all the time.
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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby Corniel » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:34 pm

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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby cowtippervirus » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:08 am

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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby Janzert » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:48 pm

The first and last part of stderr output from a bot, as well as any error or warning messages from the engine, are already shown to a logged in user on the game page. Look below the visualizer.

Doesn't look like you wrote to stderr, but here's an example showing warnings from the engine http://aichallenge.org/visualizer.php?g ... &user=8633
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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby Warren » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:45 pm

I just want to comment and say I would make use of this feature if available and I don't think it's a ridiculous request. My bot timed out a fair amount of times and it would of been nice to see the reasons especially since I already had all the logging in there to do it.

I do not know how I feel about the email results(it would be better than nothing) but something like a standard file to write to that would be available in your profile would be helpful.
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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby cowtippervirus » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:07 am

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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby Janzert » Sat Jan 07, 2012 6:28 am

Only the first and last X bytes are recorded, where I think X was 500. Here's a screenshot of what you should see if logged in:

Image

The line with ".." is the break between the opening and ending section of the recorded output. Everything above is engine warning output of course. Had your bot written to stderr it would also be shown.
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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby Janzert » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:57 pm

Hmm, after digging a little deeper I see that for some reason stderr is displayed only in games where the player timed out, crashed or submitted an invalid move. I can't think of any reason offhand why this shouldn't be changed to be displayed for all games in the next contest.
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Re: Request: Game Engine Email Debugging Output

Postby bluegaspode » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:24 am

It would still make sense, to have a dedicated and full log.
Think of algorithms that do as much iterations as possible per turn base on time constraints.

I'd love to replay those locally, but I had to know the number of iterations the bot used per turn.
I like the idea with simple emails.
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