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Ribeiro-2008c

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Master thesis

Title Darkblade - An artificial inteligent agent for Diplomacy
Author João Bernardo dos Santos Ribeiro
School UA, DETI, IEETA
Address
Month
Year 2008
Advisor Pedro Mariano, Luís Seabra Lopes
Group
Group (before 2015) Transverse Activity on Intelligent Robotics

Diplomacy is a well known no-chance multiplayer game with simultaneous turn based movements. It is played by seven players, each one responsible for a power, and takes place in Europe at the start of the twentieth century. Conflict and cooperation is necessary in order for a player to seize a victory. Due to its rich environment and the complexity of the search space, it offers a new challenge that puts some game and agent development theories to test and renders others useless.

This document describes the design and implementation of an agent capable of playing a game of Diplomacy focused on the strategic part of the game. It is based on different solutions and techniques used in previous work as well as including new ideas. The main architecture is heavily based on a Multiagent System as a way to reduce the complexity of generating the moves for each turn in the game. The game board is represented as a graph and node value propagation is used to reduce the number of searches required when evaluating the value of certain positions of the board. We also introduce the concept of "threat" as a measure of the strength of each player over a certain territory and other players pieces and discuss the possibility of predicting future movements from analysing threat variation through time. Tests show that our agent outperforms its most direct competition and offers a solid structure for future developments.