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Alpha-beta pruning?

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OK, does anyone know a good and understandable tutorial on alpha-beta pruning? Or is there anyone who can explain it? "We paint the sky with blood tonight, setting free the damned to fight"

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For the past 2 years I''ve been using the text "Artifical Intelligence" 2nd ed, by Elaine Rich and Kevin Knight published 1991 McGraw-Hill. It has a quite comprehensive discussion of search methods. There should be an updated version around by now.

Alpha-beta pruning is used with the mini-max search algorithm.
Basically it is a best-first search for 2 players:

1. Generate maximising moves for player 1 and evaluate. The
2. Take HIGHEST score from ENTIRE tree and from this move generate minimising moves (player2) and evaluate these.
3. Take move with LOWEST score in the ENTIRE graph and from this move generate maximising moves (player 1) and evaluate.
4. Go to 2. Rinse and repeat.

NOTE: This assumes best play on the part of player 2.

Also IMHO alpha-beta cutoffs on their own aren''t the whole solution to better search. You can imagine what happens when you get lots of players - it''s the AI equivalent of the N-body problem!

Hope this helps.

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