Wednesday, March 09, 2011


I like to think that I'm good at rock-paper-scissors. I bet on this game frequently with friends, and I'm well ahead lifetime. Mostly, my strategy involves talking to my opponent and more or less getting in their heads. Saying things like, "You know I'm going to throw rock. So, you probably want to throw paper." evokes some sort of response. And, over time, when playing against the same opponents, you sort of build a history of their actions and base your play on what you recall.

In the end, maybe I'm just one lucky SOB.

The NY Times put out a RPS game with a trained computer that over time exploits your weaknesses and tendencies. I played 35 rounds against it, and the nerd in me is celebrating my victory.

Human: 14
CPU: 10


Corybear said...

I had an inordinate number of ties: 14W, 31T, 15L

Brute Force said...

I guess that means that you think like a machine. I guess the computer's algorithm is simply looking at the last 4 human throws and the last 4 computer throws and searching its history to determine the most likely human throw that follows, and playing accordingly.

If that's all it does, I suppose you just need to play it enough to figure out what the responses are to the 6561 possibilities. Then, hope that the history's base is so deep that your play won't affect its judgment.

Unknown said...

Wayne, only you would enjoy the strategics behind Rock, Paper, Scissors!