Training Neural Networks to Play Backgammon Variants Using Reinforcement Learning
Backgammon is a board game that has been studied considerably by computer scientists. Apart from standard backgammon, several yet unexplored variants of the game exist, which use the same board, number of checkers, and dice but may have different rules for moving the checkers, starting positions and movement direction. This paper studies two popular variants in Greece and neighboring countries, named Fevga and Plakoto. Using reinforcement learning and Neural Network function approximation we train agents that learn a game position evaluation function for these games. We show that the resulting agents significantly outperform the open-source program Tavli3D.
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