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AIIDE 2023 - results first look

The AIIDE 2023 tournament has been declared complete. Not all details of the results page are updated, but the basic info is there. In particular, the plain text detailed results file is not there yet, so I can’t run my analysis programs.


Participation was thin this year, with only 9 entrants. It remains unfortunate that #7 Dragon is the only terran.

Two surprises for me. #1 BananaBrain pulled ahead of #2 Stardust about round 145, and stayed ahead. Stardust does some learning, but after round 50 its performance gradually decreased. After Stardust’s great improvements, I felt pretty sure it would come out ahead. And Stardust did very well—it had a plus score against every opponent. BananaBrain looks impressive, though, with a bigger winning margin against all other opponents except McRave.

#3 PurpleWave became the best of the also-rans, rather than a contender. In the graph, it groups with the middle bots, #3 to #8.

The other surprise: #5 McRave was ahead of #4 Steamhammer for most of the tournament. The main cause was their head-to-head results, not performance against other bots. McRave is a carryover, and I thought my improvements would not have much effect in ZvZ, so I expected results like last year’s, when Steamhammer won head-to-head by a consistent 54%. Steamhammer should even do a little better, because I updated the preparation. As it happened, the head-to-head results varied over the tournament run. Steamhammer was ahead at first, then McRave figured out how to play against it and took the lead, both head-to-head and overall. Only late in the tournament did Steamhammer find an answer and reverse the trend. In the end, the head-to-head score was 49% for Steamhammer, enough to edge it into an overall lead.

Did I introduce a weakness, or was the surprise due to the vagaries of learning? So far, as I prepare the bugfix version, I haven’t found any bugs or weaknesses that seem serious enough to explain it. But data to find the real cause is not released yet.

#6 Microwave and #7 Dragon also had a close race, but in my eyes it doesn’t have the drama of the other two close races.

#8 UAlbertaBot continues to score better than I expected, though from the beginning I thought it was clear what place it would end up in. This year its overall score was 30.45% compared to 43.90% last year, but that’s mainly because there were fewer weak bots for it to beat up on.

Congratulation to #9 InfestedArtosis for participating! You got through with zero crashes, unlike some stronger bots, and scored wins against tough opponents, even if not many wins. Only #1 BananaBrain and #2 Stardust were able to shut you out. The signs say you have a solid foundation to build on.


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