Uri Blass wrote:
hgm wrote:Setting contempt would simply decrease the DrawElo parameter of the model, right? You would get fewer draws, and force them to become either wins or losses. What they become depends (statistically) on the Elo difference with your opponent; you are not going to play any better just because you refuse to take draws.
To use this in an analysis you should allow a two-parameter description of players (strength, predisposition for contempt), where the DrawElo should be a function of the rating difference and predisposition for contempt of both players.
I think that things are not so simple.
I can imagine that contempt that is too high may increase the number of draws against some weaker opponent.
Imagine that you play against some opponent and you need to choose between move A and move B.
After move A the opponent can force a draw and you see it but the opponent does not see the draw or evaluates some alternative as better than draw for it.
After move B the opponent has an advantage of 0.5 pawn but no forced draw that you can see.
With very high comtempt you can prefer move B and later fight for a draw and get the draw when practically you could win by move A because in case of move A the choice of the opponent is not to force the draw but to play a losing move.
It's not clear whether your reasoning is sound or not. Essentially, there is an ideal contempt factor to set for a given pairing which says if the score gets this bad, the chances are exactly even. If you make the contempt higher than this, you are instructing the program not to take a draw even though it's chances of winning are less than 50%. You have basically "fixed" the odds against this program. And yet you are saying this will cause the program to draw more and this is because the stronger program is going to fight for a draw now even though we instructed it to reject a draw? The issues are complex and I'm not trying to refute the concept, but the reasoning I do not follow.
I am always very suspicious of any chain of reasoning based on constructed scenario's. For example you seem to assume that the opponent "does not see the draw" and the rest of your argument flows from that.
Most fallacious reasoning (if that is what this is) is based on an obsession with a subset of possible scenarios that "might" happen. I think I do this myself sometimes. The individual's thoughts are dominated with those scenarios and given too much weight. Because they can imagine it happening they develop a fixation - for some reason the possibility appeals to them. That is how you get unreasonable conspiracy theories for example. The idea of a conspiracy is more appealing that rational thought sometimes.
I am sort of an advocate of Occam's Razor. I do not religious subscribe to it, but my very first pass at a problem is very simple because I don't try too hard to envision every possible scenario that "might" invalidate my test setup and I don't initially obsess over trying to cover them. I have seen such tests performed where every superstition the tester has is covered at great complexity, most of them quite silly. I would go absolutely insane if I tried to do that. I would basically have to run every test hundreds of times - obsessing over the book (maybe the book is "favorable" to one change over the other?), the time control, lack of transitivity (maybe the change works against version X but not version Y?) and the list goes on and on and on. Maybe it has something to do with the order I configured the player, or the computer the test was run on? But over time sometimes things come to light that I now know I must take into consideration, and if I suspect something I will test it in order to put it to rest.
The things that really matter will generally show themselves by conflicting results and you can then analyze them with hypothesis testing. We discovered several things of that nature and address them as they happen. One example is that we can over-provision our tester if we are running Komodo but not if we are running against windows programs - the test will be highly favorable to Komodo and therefore misleading.
Here is something that happened to me once. As the stronger player I once played someone and left my queen hanging by accident - and the opponent did NOT take the queen - so I was off the hook. When I later asked him why he didn't take my queen I discovered that he had way too much respect for me. His response was that if I left my queen hanging it must have been a trap of some kind and he did not want to take the chance!!! It's a bit humorous but unfortunately this is how the person thought all the time - and yes, he was big on conspiracy theories. The first thought that came into his brain is the one he "followed" and built a belief system around.
Capital punishment would be more effective as a preventive measure if it were administered prior to the crime.