The Game of Hex: An Automatic Theorem Proving Approach to Game Programming

Vadim V. Anshelevich, Vanshel Consulting

The game of Hex is a two-player game with simple rules, a deep underlying mathematical beauty, and a strategic complexity comparable to that of Chess and Go. The massive game-tree search techniques developed mostly for Chess, and successfully used for Checkers, Othello, and a number of other games, become less useful for games with large branching factors like Go and Hex. We offer a new approach, which results in superior playing strength. This approach emphasizes deep analysis of relatively few game positions. In order to reach this goal, we develop an automatic theorem proving technique for topological analysis of Hex positions. We also discuss in detail an idea of modeling Hex positions with electrical resistor circuits. We explain how this approach is implemented in Hexy - the strongest known Hex-playing computer program, able to compete with best human players.


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