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David Jian Wu,
an American computer scientist and author of the Arimaa bot Sharp, which won the 2015 Arimaa Challenge and the then $12,000 USD prize by defeating each of three top-ranked human players in a three game series [1]. Sharp already played the 2008 computer tournament, and became runner-up behind David Fotland’s program Bomb, and further won the 2011 and 2014 tournaments but not the contest against the best human players of that time [2]. In 2011, David J. Wu defended his B.Sc. degree at Harvard College, Harvard University, by delivering the thesis Move Ranking and Evaluation in the Game of Arimaa.
David J. Wu [3]


Sharp's design was elaborated by its author in the 2015 ICGA Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 [4]. It follows the same fundamental design as strong Chess programs, using an iterative deepening depth limited alpha-beta search and various enhancements within a parallel search algorithm conceptually similar to the dynamic tree splitting described by Robert Hyatt in 1994 [5]. Sharp further implements several Arimaa-specific search enhancements with four steps per move, such as static goal detection and capture generation, and continues to use and benefit greatly from a move ordering function developed in 2011 as described in Wu's thesis - the move ordering function is the result of training a slightly generalized Bradley-Terry model over thousands of expert Arimaa games to learn to predict expert player's moves, using the same optimization procedure described by Rémi Coulom for computer Go [6].

Selected Publications

External Links


  1. ^ The 2015 Arimaa Challenge
  2. ^ Omar Syed (2015). The Arimaa Challenge: From Inception to Completion. ICGA Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1
  3. ^ Image from Arimaa: Game Over? by Andy Lewis, Kingpin Chess Magazine, July 11, 2015
  4. ^ David J. Wu (2015). Designing a Winning Arimaa Program. ICGA Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1
  5. ^ Robert Hyatt (1994). The DTS high-performance parallel tree search algorithm
  6. ^ Rémi Coulom (2007). Computing Elo Ratings of Move Patterns in the Game of Go. ICGA Journal, Vol. 30, No. 4, CGW 2007, pdf
  7. ^ Paper describing "Sharp" the program that won the Arimaa Challenge by ddyer, Game-AI Forum, January 14, 2016

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