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Leela Zero’s algorithm is based on DeepMind’s 2017 paper about AlphaGo Zero. Unlike the original Leela, which has a lot of human knowledge and heuristics programmed into it, Leela Zero only knows the basic rules and nothing more.
Leela Zero is trained by a distributed effort, which is coordinated at the Leela Zero website. Members of the community provide computing resources by running the client, which generates self-play games and submits them to the server. The self-play games are used to train newer networks. Generally, over 500 clients have connected to the server to contribute resources. The community has provided high quality code contributions as well.
Additionally, in early 2018 the same team branched Leela Chess Zero from the same code base, also to verify the methods in the AlphaZero paper as applied to the game of chess. AlphaZero’s use of Google TPUs was replaced by a crowd-sourcing infrastructure and the ability to use graphics card GPUs via the OpenCL library. Even so, it is expected to take a year of crowd-sourced training to make up for the dozen hours that AlphaZero was allowed to train for its chess match in the paper.
Info about Alphazero:
AlphaZero is a computer program developed by the Alphabet-owned AI research company DeepMind, which uses an approach similar to AlphaGo Zero’s to master not just Go, but also chess and shogi. On December 5, 2017 the DeepMind team released a preprint introducing AlphaZero, which, within 24 hours, achieved a superhuman level of play in these three games by defeating world-champion programs, Stockfish, elmo, and the 3-day version of AlphaGo Zero, in each case making use of custom tensor processing units (TPUs) that the Google programs were optimized to make use of. AlphaZero was trained solely via “self-play” using 5,000 first-generation TPUs to generate the games and 64 second-generation TPUs to train the neural networks, all in parallel, with no access to opening books or endgame tables. After just four hours of training, DeepMind estimated AlphaZero was playing at a higher Elo rating than Stockfish; after 9 hours of training, the algorithm decisively defeated Stockfish 8 in a time-controlled 100-game tournament (28 wins, 0 losses, and 72 draws). The trained algorithm played on a single machine with four TPUs.
Relation to AlphaGo Zero
Further information: AlphaGo Zero
AlphaZero (AZ) is a more generalized variant of the AlphaGo Zero (AGZ) algorithm, and is able to play shogi and chess as well as Go. Differences between AZ and AGZ include:
AZ has hard-coded rules for setting search hyperparameters.
The neural network is now updated continually.
Go (unlike Chess) is symmetric under certain reflections and rotations; AlphaGo Zero was programmed to take advantage of these symmetries. AlphaZero is not.
Chess can end in a draw unlike Go; therefore AlphaZero can take into account the possibility of a drawn game.
AlphaZero vs. Stockfish and elmo
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