In Proceedings of the Twenty-Third International Conference on Machine Learning, pages 873--880, Pittsburgh, 2006. Paper abstract bibtex
We investigate the problem of learning to predict moves in the board game of Go from game records of expert players. In particular, we obtain a probability distribution over legal moves for professional play in a given position. This distribution has numerous applications in computer Go, including serving as an efficient stand-alone Go player. It would also be effective as a move selector and move sorter for game tree search and as a training tool for Go players. Our method has two major components: a) a pattern extraction scheme for efficiently harvesting patterns of given size and shape from expert game records and b) a Bayesian learning algorithm (in two variants) that learns a distribution over the values of a move given a board position based on the local pattern context. The system is trained on 181,000 expert games and shows excellent prediction performance as indicated by its ability to perfectly predict the moves made by professional Go players in 34% of test positions.