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Comment: Sounds just like MCTS (Score 1) 58

by darrencook (#29282003) Attached to: Collaborative Filtering and Rise of Ensembles

Machine learning ensembles sounds just like monte-carlo tree search (MCTS) techniques (also called UCT), which are used in computer go (and more and more other AI problems) with great success.

The idea is that instead of trying to analyze a board position (which can be really, really difficult) using clever algorithms, you ask a random/simplistic algorithm to play out the rest of the game thousands upon thousands of times and see how many of those games it wins. The more it wins the better the positions.

Sounds crazy, but it actually works better than anything else.

(MCTS is usually thought of as using just one playout algorithm, with many random parameters; but that is still the same basic idea as ensembles using a bunch of different algorithms/models.)

Comment: Re:Series was NEVER that funny (Score 1) 410

by darrencook (#29154147) Attached to: New Hitchhiker's Guide Book "Not Very Funny"
"Not even the first 2 books are funny anymore" I'm about the same age as you, and first read them at about the same age as you, but I still enjoy them; all that has changed is that I start giggling just before the funny bits arrive, rather than just after. Though I thought the 3rd book was brilliant too. The 4th and 5th books were more like the Dirk Gently series: a nice gentle read to unwind with, but nothing to cause the kind of laughter that needs you having to see your doctor like the first three books and radio series.
Classic Games (Games)

+ - Shodan go bet->

Submitted by
darrencook
darrencook writes "Back in 1997 Deep Blue beat Kasparov at chess, but humans still reigned
supreme in the realm of the go (also called igo, baduk, weiqi).
Believing a combination of algorithmic and hardware improvements would
change that, software research Darren Cook made a bet that same year
that a computer could beat John Tromp before the year 2011.

This article describes the bet, as well as a brief history of computer
go, and provides space for you to vote and comment with your own opinion.

Time is running out... but the computers are improving rapidly. Who will
win?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Missing the point? (Score 1) 921

by darrencook (#28894295) Attached to: UK's FSA Finds No Health Benefits To Organic Food
I choose to buy organic (when given the choice) to encourage smarter, more sustainable farming practices. Avoiding the negative health effects of the chemicals in non-organic food is my other reason (and it appears this research didn't consider that aspect, just nutrition). Taste benefits are subtle, but there. But that, and increased nutrition, are just bonuses for me. I wish the BBC didn't use such sensationalist and mis-leading headlines though. I notice them most in the science section, but I don't know if that is just that I (like most people here I guess!) have more background knowledge, or if it is just that the science editor really wishes he was working for the tabloids.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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