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A Refinement-Based Heuristic Method for Decision Making in the Context of Ayo Game

Akinyemi, I. O. (2012) A Refinement-Based Heuristic Method for Decision Making in the Context of Ayo Game. PhD thesis, Covenant University.

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Abstract

Games of strategy, such as chess have served as a convenient test of skills at devising efficient search algorithms, formalizing knowledge, and bringing the power of computation to bear on “intractable” problems. Generally, minimax search has been the fundamental concept of obtaining solution to game problems. However, there are a number of limitations associated with using minimax search in order to offer solution to Ayo game. Among these limitations are: (i.) improper design of a suitable evaluator for moves before the moves are made, and (ii.) inability to select a correct move without assuming that players will play optimally. This study investigated the extent to which the knowledge of minimax search technique could be enhanced with a refinement-based heuristic method for playing Ayo game. This is complemented by the CDG (an end game strategy) for generating procedures such that only good moves are generated at any instance of playing Ayo game by taking cognizance of the opponent strategy of play. The study was motivated by the need to advance the African board game – Ayo – to see how it could be made to be played by humans across the globe, by creating both theoretical and product-oriented framework. This framework provides local Ayo game promotion initiatives in accordance with state-of-the-art practices in the global game playing domain. In order to accomplish this arduous task, both theoretical and empirical approaches were used. The theoretical approach reveals some mathematical properties of Ayo game with specific emphasis on the CDG as an end game strategy and means of obtaining the minimal and maximal CDG configurations. Similarly, a theoretical analysis of the minimax search was given and was enhanced with the Refinement-based heuristics. For the empirical approach, we simulated Ayo game playing on a digital viii computer and studied the behaviour of the various heuristic metrics used and compared the play strategies of the simulation with AWALE (the world known Ayo game playing standard software). Furthermore, empirical judgment was carried out on how experts play Ayo game as a means of evaluating the performance of the heuristics used to evolve the Ayo player in the simulation which gives room for statistical interpretation. This projects novel means of solving the problem of decision making in move selections in computer game playing of Ayo game. The study shows how an indigenous game like Ayo can generate integer sequence, and consequently obtain some self-replicating patterns that repeat themselves at different iterations. More importantly, the study gives an efficient and usable operation support tools in the prototype simulation of Ayo game playing that has improvement over Awale

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering, Science and Mathematics > School of Electronics and Computer Science
Depositing User: Mr Solomon Bayoko
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 21:33
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013 21:33
URI: http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/id/eprint/1444

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