Project #3: Decision Trees and Adversarial Games


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ROB311: Artificial Intelligence
Project #3: Decision Trees and Adversarial Games

In this project, you will expand your understanding of two important lecture topics: decision tree learning
and the design of game-playing agents. The goals are to:
• implement and understand basic decision tree learning, using the greedy information gain and gain ratio
splitting criteria described in the lectures; and
• build a simple game-playing agent (to be put to the test against your classmates’ agents!)
The project has two parts, worth a total of 50 points. All submissions will be via Autolab; you may submit as
many times as you wish until the deadline. To complete the project, you will need to review some material
that goes beyond that discussed in the lectures—more details are provided below. The due date for project
submission is Monday, March 28, 2022, by 23:55 EDT.
As in Project #2, each part already has some basic code in place for you to start with. For example, in, you are shown how your decision tree learning algorithm will be called by the Autolab
Part 1: Decision Tree Learning
Decision trees are useful for a wide range of machine learning tasks, and have the advantage of being readily
understandable. We will be concerned with building trees using training data involving discrete-valued attributes. You will implement functions to determine how to split the data (and build the tree) based on the
information gain and gain ratio criteria. Your tasks are to:
1. Implement five basic support functions for decision tree learning that compute (in order): discrete entropy,
conditional entropy, intrinsic information, information gain, and information gain ratio. Use the function
templates in the handout code to get started.
2. Implement a Python version of the Decision Tree Learning algorithm given on pg. 702 of the AIMA text,
in the file Your learning implementation will make use of the functions provided
above (and enable splitting using both information gain and gain ratio criteria).
Some utility code has been provided for you in the form of a TreeNode class and its methods, and a function
to compute the ‘plurality value’ of a set of examples — do not modify these. Please read all comments in the
starter code for implementation details. You will submit your implementations of all 6 template functions in through Autolab.
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ROB311: Artificial Intelligence Project #3: Decision Trees and Adversarial Games
Part 2: Adversarial Games
One of the fist applications of AI was to games, and many well known games have now been solved (e.g.,
you can read the fascinating story about solving checkers here). That is, the optimal set of moves given any
starting state is known. However, developing game-playing agents can still be challenging! In this open-ended
portion of the project, you will write an agent to play a modified version of rock-paper-scissors with a game
(payoff) matrix of the form:
M =

0 −a b
a 0 −c
−b c 0

 , (1)
where a, b, and c are all positive (you will not be given their values). Your task is to:
1. Write a game-playing agent that attempts to win as many games as possible. The class StudentAgent in has three methods that you must implement. As usual, you may
only use the import statements present in the file.
Your agent will be pitted against other agents: for each given opponent, your StudentAgent class will repeat
1000 rounds against that opponent. See the play_game function in
for details. The other agents you are up against are:
• a dumb agent that always chooses the first move (see FirstMovePlayer),
• a copycat agent that always copies its opponent’s last move (see CopycatPlayer),
• an agent that randomly chooses one of the three options with equal probability (see UniformPlayer),
• a ‘goldfish’ agent with very short memory (source code is not available to you),
• an agent that uses a mixed Nash equilibrium strategy (source code is not available to you),
• and an agent that follows a random Markov process that depends on the last round (source code is not
available to you).
You do not have to beat every agent head-to-head, but you must win the lion’s share of the points (see the
Grading section below). The exact strategy that your agent employs is a design decision—however, you
must briefly document the technique(s) you used in your code. As the final part of the project, we will
hold a round-robin tournament. A portion of your grade on this part of the project will depend on your
algorithm’s performance in the tournament. Grading details are provided in the section below. Please read
all the comments in the starter code for implementation details. You will submit your implementation of
StudentAgent in through Autolab.
We would like to reiterate that only functions and methods implemented for the Autolab’s grader will affect
your marks. As usual, submit your code to Autolab as follows:
tar cvf handin.tar
Points for each portion of the project will be assigned as follows:
• Decision Tree Learning – 25 points (5 tests × 3 points per test; 2 tests × 5 points per test)
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ROB311: Artificial Intelligence Project #3: Decision Trees and Adversarial Games
The first five tests are of the utility functions for decision tree learning (defined in Part 1); each test
is designed to ensure that your support function is operating correctly. The final two tests will involve
learning a tree using a hold-out (hidden) dataset.
Time limit: 5 seconds per test.
• Adversarial Games – 25 points (5 points for tests; 5 points for algorithm description; 15 points for tournament performance)
Tests: The test will pit your agent in a tournament against the simple agents mentioned above. Note
that each agent will play 1000 games against each opponent. You must score over 6500 points to get
full marks, or over 3250 points to get half marks.
Note: the tester will timeout if the total run time for all 1000 games exceeds 180 seconds.
Algorithm Description: In addition to your code, you must also include a longer comment block (approximately 10-15 lines, 80 characters per line) that describes your approach and/or the algorithm that you
implemented. This comment is to be placed in the docstring right below the header of StudentAgent.
Tournament: After the project submission deadline, we will run all agents head-to-head in a round robin
tournament. The class’s algorithms will be ranked and split into tertiles. The top scoring tertile gets 15
points, the middle tertile gets 10 points, and the bottom scoring tertile gets 5 points.
Total: 50 points
Grading criteria include: correctness and succinctness of the implementation of support functions, proper
overall program operation, and code commenting. Please note that we will test your code and it must run successfully. Code that is not properly commented or that looks like ‘spaghetti’ may result in an overall deduction
of up to 10%.
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Project #3: Decision Trees and Adversarial Games
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