Tartanian7: A Champion Two-Player No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker-Playing Program
Keywords:game theory, distributed AI, game solving, imperfect information
The leading approach for solving large imperfect-information games is automated abstraction followed by running an equilibrium-finding algorithm. We introduce a distributed version of the most commonly used equilibrium-finding algorithm, counterfactual regret minimization (CFR), which enables CFR to scale to dramatically larger abstractions and numbers of cores. The new algorithm begets constraints on the abstraction so as to make the pieces running on different computers disjoint. We introduce an algorithm for generating such abstractions while capitalizing on state-of-the-art abstraction ideas such as imperfect recall and the earth-mover's-distance similarity metric. Our techniques enabled an equilibrium computation of unprecedented size on a supercomputer with a high inter-blade memory latency. Prior approaches run slowly on this architecture. Our approach also leads to a significant improvement over using the prior best approach on a large shared-memory server with low memory latency. Finally, we introduce a family of post-processing techniques that outperform prior ones. We applied these techniques to generate an agent for two-player no-limit Texas Hold'em. It won the 2014 Annual Computer Poker Competition, beating each opponent with statistical significance.