Newsgroup comp.ai.games, archived at https://groups.google.com/d/topic/comp.ai. games/FVOEABY4gbQ/discussion
- Marc Aldebert, Risto Widenius, Mastermind
- Newsgroup comp.ai.games, archived at https…
Solving the MasterMind puzzle, that is, finding out a hidden combination by using hints that tell you how close some strings are to that one is a combinatorial optimization problem that becomes increasingly difficult with string size and the number of symbols used in it. Since it does not have an exact solution, heuristic methods have been traditionally used to solve it; these methods scored each combination using a heuristic function that depends on comparing all possible solutions with each other. In this paper we first optimize the implementation of previous evolutionary methods used for the game of mastermind, obtaining up to a 40% speed improvement over them. Then we study the behavior of an entropy-based score, which has previously been used but not checked exhaustively and compared with previous solutions. The combination of these two strategies obtain solutions to the game of Mastermind that are competitive, and in some cases beat, the best solutions obtained so far. All data and programs have also been published under an open source license.