This project aspires to develop an AI capable of playing on a variety of maps in a Risk-like board game. While AI has been successfully applied to many other board games, such as Chess and Go, most research is confined to a single board and is inflexible to topological changes. Further, almost all of these games are played on a rectangular grid. Contrarily, this project develops an AI player, referred to as GG-net, to play the online strategy game Warzone, which is based on the classic board game Risk. Warzone is played on a wide variety of irregularly shaped maps. Prior research has struggled to create an effective AI for Risk-like games due to the immense branching factor. The most successful attempts tended to rely on manually restricting the set of actions the AI considered while also engineering useful features for the AI to consider. GG-net uses no human knowledge, but rather a genetic algorithm combined with a graph neural network. Together, these methods allow GG-net to perform competitively across a multitude of maps. GG-net outperformed the built-in rule-based AI by 413 Elo (representing an 80.7% chance of winning) and an approach based on AlphaZero using graph neural networks by 304 Elo (representing a 74.2% chance of winning). This same advantage holds across both seen and unseen maps. GG-net appears to be a strong opponent on both small and medium maps, however, on large maps with hundreds of territories, inefficiencies in GG-net become more significant and GG-net struggles against the rule-based approach. Overall, GG-net was able to successfully learn the game and generalize across maps of a similar size, albeit further work is required for GG-net to become more successful on large maps.
- Artificial Intelligence with Graph Neural Networks Applied to a Risk-like Board Game
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