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Competitions

The set of competitions to be run in association with CIG 2007 is currently being finalised. Several of these competitions will also be run for IEEE CEC 2007, ensuring some continuity, and a significant degree of long term engagement with some major challenges for computational intelligence.

We encourage prospective authors of CIG papers to use these competitions to gain evaluation results for their papers, where appropriate. For example, if you've evolved a neural network for playing Othello, please test it on our Othello server! This will help reviewers to evaluate the significance of your results.

Ms. Pac-Man

Unlike Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man is a non-deterministic game, and rather difficult for most human players. As far as we know, nobody really knows how hard it is to develop an AI player for the game. The world record for a human player (on the original arcade version) currently stands at 921,360 (read more). Can anyone develop a software agent to beat that?

The CIG Ms. Pac-Man competition will use the Microsoft Revenge of Arcade version to test the ability of computer-based players at the conference. We are especially interested in players that use computational intelligence methods to address the problem, but the contest is open to any type of algorithm: you can hand-program it as much as you like.

The mode of interaction is as follows: about 15 times per second your program will be sent a pixel map of the Ms. Pac-Man window, and it then responds with an integer indicating the direction of the joystick.

We will shortly make available a Java toolkit that does some reasonably quick image processing to extract the relevant game objects, but no claim is made that this toolkit will be in any way optimal, and you are of course free to develop your own implementations.

Othello

This competition also ran successfully at IEEE CEC 2006. The goal of this competition is to supply the winning evaluation (utility) function for Othello (also known as Reversi).

The scientific aims of the competition are to further our understanding of which type of architecture is best for performing Othello position evaluation, of which learning methods work best, and the level of play that can be achieved at 1-ply.

Please follow this link: http://algoval.essex.ac.uk:8080/othello/html/Othello.html

For the CIG competition, we are also planning to run a full Othello playing competition, where entrants supply complete players, not just the position evaluation function.

Organised by Simon Lucas and Thomas Runarsson.



X-Pilot AI

X-Pilot is a hugely popular on-line 2-d space war game - a bit like multi-player Asteroids.

The details of the CIG competition are currently being finalised, but entrants will supply complete X-Pilot player bots; these can be hand programmed or evolved, or trained in some other way.

For more details see here.

Organised by Gary Parker and Matt Parker.

Simulated Car Racing

The aim of this competition is to design the best performing controller for a simulated car. The racing is point-to-point against an opponent car, and the challenge mixes driving skill with game strategy. The waypoints must be hit in order, but once a waypoint has been hit by one car, the next one becomes active. Therefore, a controller may decide to skip a waypoint and head directly for the one after it. The setup for the competition has been made especially simple to encourage maximum participation, but the game is still very challenging. More details here.

Organised by Julian Togelius.