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Computational Logic

General Game Playing

Course Description

Prof. Michael Thielscher, Stephan Schiffel
Programming expertise

A General Game Playing System is one that can accept a formal description of a game and play the game effectively without human intervention. Unlike specialized game players, such as Deep Blue, GGP systems cannot rely on algorithms designed in advance for specific games. GGP expertise depends on intelligence on the part of the game player and not just intelligence on the part of the programmer of the game player. For this reason, GGP is a good area in which to develop and demonstrate General AI techniques (such as knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, and rational behavior). This course is a hands-on introduction to GGP and, by extension, Artificial Intelligence. Theoretical background is provided through lectures, but the main pedagogical value of the course derives from the students´ work in using this theory to create GGP systems to compete with each other.

Time Table

  • Mondays:
    • 4. DS (E005)

Lectures are held in even and tutorials in odd weeks. The first lecture is on 15th October.


During the Open House or by appointment.

Details about the Examination

oral examination after the competition;
The date can be fixed individually with Prof. Thielscher. Presenting a functional program at the competition is a prerequisite for taking the exam.



Tasks set in a tutorial have to be completed until the next tutorial, e.g., tasks from tutorial 1 have to be done until Mon, 05 Nov 2007, unless stated differently.


On Mon, 04 Feb 2008, we had a test run of the programs of all teams. Each player had to play a couple of games of a complexity and with a clock values similar to the ones we'll use in the competition. The test-run was successful for most of the teams. Those teams who didn't present a working player but want to take part in the competition (remember that this is mandatory for the course) should contact Stephan Schiffel until Friday, 8 Feb 2008, to fix a date for another test-run.

The following games were played during the test-run:

  1. Coins (from lecture 3)
  2. 10-Queens-Problem - place ten queens on a 10x10 board such that they don't attack each other
  3. Scorefour (by team BEATle) - a three-dimensional connect-four
  4. Rock, Paper, Scissors with 3 players
  5. 3 Crossers - three players try to cross a triangular board and block their opponents


On Wed, 13 Feb 2008, we held a competition between the programs of all teams that attended the lecture. Details about the participants and the games that were played can be found at the competition website.

Additional References

Last modified: 1st Feb 2010, 2.29 PM
Author: Dipl. Inf. Stephan Schiffel