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One Jump Ahead: Computer Perfection at Checkers 2nd Edition

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0387765754
ISBN-10: 0387765751
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The new edition of this extraordinary book depicts the creation of the world champion checkers computer program, Chinook. In only two years, Chinook had become a worthy opponent to the world champion, and within four years had defeated all the world's top human players. Jonathan Schaeffer, the originator and leader of the Chinook team, details the mistakes and technical problems made and the lessons learned in the continuous effort to improve Chinook's performance, revealing the human factor behind the program’s design. The development of Chinook begins in 1988 as an innocent question asked over lunch and is followed to the final match against then world champion, Marion Tinsley, and ultimately to its recent triumph, solving checkers. Schaeffer’s unwaveringly honest narrative features new anecdotes, updated material and technology descriptions, and additional photos and figures, providing an engrossing account of an obsessive quest to achieve perfection in computer checkers.

Jonathan Schaeffer is a professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. His research interests are in artificial intelligence, and he is well known for using games to demonstrate his ideas. He has achieved success building high-performance programs for chess, checkers and poker. Today, most of his research effort is devoted to addressing the challenging problems of the commercial games industry.

"In his unique voice, Jonathan Schaeffer describes the ups and downs of a research project where the ultimate goal is perfection.  And Schaeffer is brutally honest about his failures to live up to this standard. When he finally succeeds at his eighteen-year quest, the reader can't help but share the emotions of the moment."

-- Murray S. Campbell, member of IBM's Deep Blue Supercomputer development team

About the Author

The scientists who developed Chinook rigorously proved that Chinook can never lose, i.e. computer checkers has been solved.  Author Schaeffer detailed the process on the web site of the journal Science in July 2007, and the story has since been reported in the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, USA Today, Discover Magazine, as well as on MSNBC and CNN, among others.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 585 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2nd edition (November 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387765751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387765754
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,204,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is hard to categorize, it covers so much: programming a computer to win at checkers, certainly, but also the history of a dying competitive game, the story of an undisputed human champion, the nature of what makes a game and an opponent exciting, and many other threads. A fantastic book (at least for me).

Already read the book? You can also play his program, Chinook (good luck!).
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Format: Paperback
Reading of this book is nice pleasure about the story of the best checkers programme written by Jonathan Schaeffer, the leader of the Artificial Intelligence specialists from Canada. It is interesting for each person who likes checkers.
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Format: Paperback
Schaeffer's real-life checkers adventure is like a fictional anthropologist encountering the still-vibrant remnant of a lost civilization. Never glimpsing the mystical heart of the culture upon which he brings so much technology to bear, Schaeffer cuts a comic and pitiable figure. He believes that he is a sportsman, that flipping the switch on some coded up standard algorithms allows him to join the company of the supreme adepts, that nervously watching the lights flash is in any way comparable to the actual, miraculously skillful, dizzying descent into the vortex. Most ridiculous is his overweening ambition to grab with his thick, profaning fingers what he takes to be the ultimate treasure and, especially, his preening glee when this illusory "honor" is ironically granted him by the dying master.
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One Jump Ahead: Computer Perfection at Checkers
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