Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bad Robot/Good Robot

We all know him, we've all played with him, our own MahjongTime robot "Jerrybot" is the fourth player on many of the MahjongTime tables. Since the launch of MahjongTime, the AI (Artificial Intelligence) has undergone many changes and improvements but, do you enjoy playing with the robot? Do you think it should be improved, removed, or is it perfect as is? Post your opinions here.


Anonymous said...

I think he's great! It's like a... a person who plays mah jong a lot!

a3geffen said...

Jerry plays Hong Kong ok, but is a terror for Chinese Official. A button should be available for NOT letting in Jerry after players have taken a seat. This could be at the creation of the table.

Anonymous said...

I guess he's cool with the filling in the extra player and all.

Anonymous said...

An extra player is a good idea.
However, it use always the same strategy (looking for pungs) and can be predictable, especially at the end of the game when it throw tiles already passed.

Others heuristics should be employed in order to extend the number of tactics useable by Jerry and to make it less boring.

Another point is the speed of begining of the game when Jerry is the Est.
The first tile is throw too quicly and don't let times for others to analyse their games.
It can be possible too add slack period in this case.

Anonymous said...

JerryBot is OK!
In the beginning I thought Jerry war a real player playing quite monotonumous but keeping a sense level. I think it would be nice as a tablecreator or as east to have the option to choose, with or without Jerry.

Sometimes you dont want to wait when there are few players and sometimes it feel kind of woody to play with Jerry.

Make him moore like a real player with some kind of caosfactor/various tactics. And please give him a nice identity as well.

Thanks for a good site!!!

Anonymous said...

i think that when you've been sitting at a table for a while waiting for people to join you and no one has come maybe 3 jerry's should come and play with you.
overall everyone likes jerry

Anonymous said...

Why is there a discussion here? If he/she/it CAN be improved then why wouldn't you?

The concept is a good one, as waiting for a fourth player is way worse than putting up with JB

Anonymous said...

I think we that is not really the main question.
It would be sweet if the game was full screen and made 3D.

Anonymous said...

I love Jerrybot although sometimes he wins with a high score. Otherwise it's a good way to play when there are only 3 users.

I agree that the table should have a checkbox "Jerrybot allowed" so that the creator can decide if the table is AI-aware or not.

Jerrybot plays essentially by doing pongs... he never does chows. It's good that he waits until 40s before playing when East. That gives users time to organize their set.

Moreover, you could even have more than 1 bot... I don't know if this clashes with rules but would there be a problem in playing alone, with 3 bots?

Anyway, of course it's better to play with humans!

MahjongTime said...

It looks like as the forth player the JerryBot(AI) is good. But do you like when JerryBot takes over your tiles when you get disconnected or just slow on moves? What can be improved here? For now we are thinking to discourage users from abandoning their tables and make AI not to be able to mahjong, this way no one who has left his table will be able to win a game

scotdancer said...

I like it when Jerry takes over, sometimes i get disconnected in the winter because of wind storms, I don't mind if you make it that I can't win, at least not too much!! but I do prefer playing with Jerry rather than abandon a game when other players are disconnected ar quit

fatchoi said...

Jerrybot is fine to take a place when not enough players, but it's the system thats is so annoying when you have tiles you need, chucked out for you when you get disconnected.... Whats more it's even worse when it's a tile someone else needs for a mahjong, and it has happened on several occasions, and many times lose a lot of points, which is very disppointing to put it mildly....

Anonymous said...

I object to the JerryBot making decisions for me. I have often been in a position where I want to keep a particular tile and due to network lag, the AI player takes over and it's all over. This has happened twice whilst I was waiting for MahJong.

In particular, I am uncomfortable in wagering any money if I know that this might happen.

a3geffen said...

A special one happened to me. i had a pung B9 and a chow B789. Also a pung D9.
I pick a D9 and want to promote the pung to kong so I click Kong Self. Instead of D9 it first makes a kong B9, ruining my chow.
A choice to which one you want to make a kong with would be nice.

Anonymous said...

its cool to play with robots but if a player wants to join it should give up the seat. One more thing i dont like the idea of robots playing my hand even if i left a table that finished. It is going on all day while im playing at the other table. Strange,huh?
True it wld be nice to choose what you want to throw or pung, chow , kung, etc...

Anonymous said...

Jerry destroyed at least three of my games in the past 10 days. This always happens when there is a lag, and I suspect that declaring a self-drawn mahjongg generates an additional lag.
I play Chinese Official only!

Example 1: I had 3 concealed pungs rather from the beginning, ie. 16 points safe, so I was able to go out with any additional combination. In fact I had a pair of simples and I could go out claiming (or drawing) the missing tile for a chow. A player discarded a forth tile of my pungs, I fell into a lag and JerryBot claimed a kong. My quick and dirty victory was destroyed. I don't know any more if I was able to get back into the game.

Example 2: I was collecting a pure straight (1-9 of Bamboo), I needed only B3 to go out. Well, lucky as I was, I drew it myself, so I declared self-mahjongg. Nothing happened, time flew and - what should I say? - it lagged while the timeout appeared. Jerry didn't go out. He discarded the B3 - gone forever. As I remember it was the last B3 in game.

Example 3: Not an accident, but weird: My next self-drawn Mahjongg declaration took also too much time. As I watched the timer going more and more red I thought, I should go the safe way and declared self-mahjongg a second time. Say what? It responded immediately! The first time ever in my career! I tried this again in my next self-mahjongg - again.

The third example shows that there is something wrong with the system (server?). Actually there is no net-lag, esp. when declaring mahjongg it seems the server is missing something or occasionally runs into some dead-end or so. Please check this!

Posted by Arby

MahjongTime said...

In regards to the last post made by a3geffen:
We appreciate your comments. The problems addressed above have been fixed. Now when you promote a Kong a pop up window gives you options on what you are trying to promote.

MahjongTime said...

We appreciate your comments regarding the robot. The main purpose of the auto-player(robot) is to keep the game going in case of the time limit expired, and also to have people to pay more attention to the game. Otherwise, somebody can simply stall the game by not moving. We have added a setting on the table creation to play without time limit and in this case there is no auto player to throw your tiles for you, however if a player gets disconnected or just not moving the game stops and may not finish at all. Based on the statistics there are not many players that are playing without the auto player. The auto player may “kill” a “good” hand but normally when a player is not moving within the time limit. We greatly appreciate all the comments and feedback. We are working as hard as we can to continually improve our game and make it problem-free

Anonymous said...

He is still throwing too fast when he is East!

Anonymous said...

I love Jerrybot. He loves telling me about his day how other players throw insults at him and he would still take it in stride! :p

Anonymous said...

I would love to play against 3 bots. I play American style and often there are not enough real players, so 3 BOTS at a table would be great, especially for practice.

Anonymous said...

i didnt know he was a robot till just n ow lol he's friendly lol

Anonymous said...

Well, it has been more than 2 years since this issue was posted, but since the comment need approval by MJT staff so I hope someone may look into my comment. And I hope my comment be useful.

PLaying RCR rules

I have have quite a few chances experiencing with the bot includes

1) when my opponents drop out and bot took over
2) I had lag/delay/afk then the bot took over the decision
3) I had left the game intentionally (for personal business) and let the bot took over but couldn't gain back the control after return.

I believe on all of those situations, the bots has the same algorithm.

As far as I can see the AI seem to be

1) too simple
2) using not so good strategy
3) predictable

As I understand the bot always
1) pung/kong in every oppertunity
2) discard the most left hand single card
3) never avoid throwing a dangerous card

Ok, the first one is not too bad, some players do like that too.

To fix the third one, it requires higher level AI so it may not easy and also there several issue like which level should be appropriate.

Therefore, I think the main problem is the second one. That way of playing make it predictable and quite easy to read what in its hand and what it going to do next. Because of that, it will always keep single honour tiles until very late in the game. At first it may sound like a good strategy because it it may get a pair then pung/kong and other players cannot pung/kong those valuable tiles but it actually is not. Because togather with the third problem, if no one win first, it will eventually discards those tiles at the end when no other single tiles to discard. And togather with the third problem, it can easily lost big because other players have high chance to get a pair and be quite curtain that bot will finally give them the last card at the end.

As for my suggestion, probably try

1) instead of discard from the most left hand, try make it random.
2) as for single honour tiles, may be add some simple strategy like throwing them out early in the game sometimes if not always.