MasterMind double feature: CEC and GECCO

Besides the publication at EvoStar, this year we have managed to publish in the other two big ticket EC conferences of the year, CEC in Cancún and GECCO in Amsterdam. First one on the calendar was CEC, where we presented
A search for scalable evolutionary solutions to the game of MasterMind
as a poster which I tried to make as awesome as possible by using velcro, magnetic strips and whiteboard for a dynamic experience. It
was quite successful indeed, and I expect the message came through well. Here’s the poster, although just the static part of it:

In this poster we attempt to create some guidelines for finding solutions to the game of MasterMind using evolutionary algorithms. We fix the maximum size of the consistent set and use it throughout all problem sizes, although what we discover here is that set size is different for different scoring methods: Entropy or Most Parts. This paper continues the one presented at LION, where we studied only the size needed by Most Parts, which also extended the one presented at GAMEON.

The paper presented at GECCO, which was admitted as full paper, goes in a different direction and is called Improving evolutionary solutions to the game of MasterMind using an entropy-based scoring method. In this case just Entropy is used for scoring (which means that combinations that partition the set of consistent combinations with maximum entropy will be played and sought in the evolutionary search), and the objective was to try and find fast and efficient solutions so that bigger search spaces could be explored. It was pretty much achieved; fastest solution so far (but still slower, mainly due to the nature of Perl, than the solution by Berghman et al.) and best results that those published before by ourselves and others, so all in all we are quite happy about it. In this case I used impress.js for this awesome presentation (which took me quite a while indeed).

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