Pruning Game Tree by Rollouts


  • Bojun Huang Microsoft Research



In this paper we show that the alpha-beta algorithm and its successor MT-SSS*, as two classic minimax search algorithms, can be implemented as rollout algorithms, a generic algorithmic paradigm widely used in many domains. Specifically, we define a family of rollout algorithms, in which the rollout policy is restricted to select successor nodes only from a certain subset of the children list. We show that any rollout policy in this family (either deterministic or randomized) is guaranteed to evaluate the game tree correctly with a finite number of rollouts. Moreover, we identify simple rollout policies in this family that ``implement'' alpha-beta and MT-SSS*. Specifically, given any game tree, the rollout algorithms with these particular policies always visit the same set of leaf nodes in the same order with alpha-beta and MT-SSS*, respectively. Our results suggest that traditional pruning techniques and the recent Monte Carlo Tree Search algorithms, as two competing approaches for game tree evaluation, may be unified under the rollout paradigm.




How to Cite

Huang, B. (2015). Pruning Game Tree by Rollouts. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 29(1).



AAAI Technical Track: Heuristic Search and Optimization