What avg bullet dmg of robot in battle against himself may mean?

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What avg bullet dmg of robot in battle against himself may mean?

I do fast and rough research and find out, that in battles against themself Tomcat gets ~1200 bullet dmg, DrussGT gets ~1100 bullet dmg and Diamond gets 1000 bullet dmg. Can it mean, that Tomcat has better gun relative to his movement, Diamond has better movement relative to his gun and Druss is well balanced? What do think, guys? And related question: how you decide what to improve next or what is weakness of yours robot?

Jdev14:46, 19 June 2012

My first thought would be to look at distancing. If Diamond keeps a larger average distance than DrussGT, and DrussGT more than Tomcat, the hit percentage would naturally be lower. Also, Tomcat might just have the most aggressive bullet power strategy - higher bullet powers is always a trade off of bullet damage vs survival.

Figuring out what to improve is a much tougher question. :-) Recently I've been refactoring Diamond and adding lots of tests, which has given me lots of little bugs to fix and ideas of what might work better. I think just going through your code and writing tests is a good way to get ideas, because you start really getting a feel for how things work. But other than that, I don't have any great advice.

The big ideas kind of come out of the blue, immediately kick ass in tests, and then you can just polish them and release. But usually it's not like that. =) One general thing is I try to think of how to make things more accurate, like data collection or how I'm normalizing my values. I'm really trying to avoid the "tiny tweak and test for hours" cycle recently and focus on significant behavior changes, which I find a lot more fun and which has a better chance of being a big improvement.

Voidious15:20, 19 June 2012

Distance and bullets power, sure, thanks:) Looks like i still stuck with my gun...

About tests - i did start work on ConceptA because Tomcat now has high coupling (cohesion?), so test it is difficult task:) But any way thanks for advice:)

I agree, that big things is better, but i think, that APS gap between Tomcat and Diamond and DrussGT just in "tiny tweak", which require hours of tests. But tests is problem for me with my low-end first generation mobile i3 core:)

Jdev06:14, 20 June 2012

I'm on a 3 year old MacBook Pro with Core 2 Duo 2.8 GHz, so I feel your testing pain. =) But I just ordered a Core i7 box, so not for long. =) Though I've come to accept that no amount of CPU power is enough to satisfy a Robocoder's appetite.

I feel like when I focus on tweaks, I just lose my mind and never have any real insights. I just feel like every minute that my CPU isn't running some Robocode benchmark is wasted, so I just keep thinking of the next thing to fiddle with and run the next test. There's a place for that if you have a good idea something could be improved, but it also clouds my mind and keeps my focus away from the bigger picture. I'm sure you do have lots of little things to tweak in Tomcat, but I bet you also have some significant bugs and feature gaps. Do you do Gun Heat Waves and precise intersection in the surfing? Do your implementations actually help? I think I gained about 0.3 APS from each of those.

Maybe you can attach Diamond's gun for a hybrid bot test and see how much of the difference is in gun vs movement? It should be pretty easy to plug in. Might just need to be careful to make Bullet Shadows still work, but it's a pretty simple interface.

Voidious15:20, 20 June 2012

I do not know much about hardware, but i think, that my i3 with 1.3 GH is much more worse:)

Tomcat uses gun heat waves. It's not completly clear for me how precise intersection can help in surfing. Actually Tomcat starts to surf next wave, when closest wave in distance of two ticks to Tomcats center. But thanks, i will add it to todo list:) I'm not sure, but it seems, that Tomcat was released with gun heat waves, and some tuning of it give him some points.

Thanks, for Diamond's gun but I'd rather spend time to Tomcat development - i have the super secret big idea which must hit:) I hope, it must hit:)

Jdev19:50, 20 June 2012

I've always found it optimal to surf until the wave is one tick from center. Effectively, this is when it passes your center, since it will move and then check for collisions before you can move again. While there still could be firing angles that would hit you after this, most of them would have already hit you, so it makes sense.

I guess you're just using the firing angle on the last tick you surf that wave? Of all the firing angles that would hit your bot for that movement option, using precise intersection will let you use the angle at the center of that range as the input to your danger calculation. (Or the whole range, depending on how your danger formula stuff works.) I was surprised by how much I gained by it. Pretty sure I argued against it having value for a while before I tried it. =))

Voidious20:21, 20 June 2012

I cannot understand yours point because of my english skill or simple misunderstanding. Currently Tomcat uses this algorithm (in roughly):

  • predict movement in CW and CCW directions until closest's wave travel time > 0
  • for each point calculate it's danger as: (amount of possible bullets within +/-botWidthInRadians * 0.75) * (high danger) + (amount of possible bullets within +/-botWidthInRadians * 2.25) * (low danger danger) (distance in radians between point and bullet bearing offset is also taken in account, botWidthInRadians are calculated exactly)
  • move in direction with safet position or if distance to safest point <= stop distance, then go there directly (yes, i know that it's my not good bicycle and it's another reason of birth of ConceptA:) )

Where i can add precise intersection? May be it can be applied only for true surfing? Are you know is DrussGT use it in movement?

Jdev20:53, 20 June 2012

DrussGT doesn't use precise intersection, but it would work and is something I've been contemplating adding. I'm just worried that it would be very slow.

Skilgannon01:23, 22 June 2012

Hi maybe this is interesting to you if you need more power for testing. Most of the big server companies (HP,IBM) have some sort of test/develop and whatnot programs where you can get an so called free "shell account". You can use these systems for non commercial use. Not sure what the current restrictions are but you should get an SSH port where you can up/download your stuff. I guess you could easily install robocode on such system - run your test and download the results. The CPU power should be way above everything what you can get at home :)

I had one of these years ago ... not sure if they changed some conditions: IBM Shell Account

Wompi16:32, 20 June 2012

Thanks, i will see on it

Jdev19:51, 20 June 2012

Oh that's interesting. I actually worked for IBM until last year (on System z, even) and didn't know about that. If my experience in our dev environments is any indication, the horsepower might not be as high as you'd think. =) My other concern is that the CPU is shared with all the other virtual machines, so you couldn't rely on a constant CPU allocation, so things would get weird with Robocode's CPU constant. Either lots of skipped turns or SlowBots given infinite time and taking forever.

Some folks have played with App Engine and EC2: Talk:RoboRumble#Client_on_Google_Apps_Engine. Seems like it can't be long before these options are cheaper/easier/better than buying your own big box for things like Robocode.

Voidious17:31, 20 June 2012

Hmm normally those shell accounts are for people who want to try if the hardware is appropriate for there software and as far as i know you get a fixed CPU power and most of them should work on a real hardware. It is years ago since i had to do with these stuff so it might be have changed. And you might be right with the horsepower :) i have no idea what todays home cpus can do - it just came into my mind by reading the posts of you both. I'm happy with my 4 year old Macbook :)

Wompi18:13, 20 June 2012

Let's speak, when you will develop mega bot with multiply wave surfing, 30 R-Trees with 500-5000 entries, 7 kD-Trees with 50000 entries, bullet shielding and million other computations:) Actually, i really sometimes think about spending 1000-1500$ on new computer only due to the robocode:)

Jdev19:58, 20 June 2012