Second, I would also like to inform you that with the knowledge I have today, I would have voted differently in the investigation process. More
Your question is a very good question. Taking ideas from one source? many? is it the same? I do not know, and probably there is no simple answer for ICGA purposes, but the question is relevant. The problem is, rule #2 is terribly worded and was designed eons ago with only cut&paste clones in mind.The part that says "e.g. programs that play nearly the same moves" (or something like that) is extremely naive. Let's suppose that I write a program following Ed's document about how rebels plays. That would probably be a program that is 80-90% identical. There was zero code copy because I did not even see it. Is that ok? I believe yes... what would be the difference if I saw the code? More
Rybka is not designed to be a copy of fruit and you cannot show me a big similiarity in the analysis between rybka and fruit that is a strange similiarity between different engines. More
Certainly it does matter. We already KNOW that Vas is capable of adding 500 ELO to an engine when given enough time. That's how you brush away all arguments: not important, because he is guilty for all the OTHER reasons. In your world, all counterarguments fail BECAUSE HE IS GUILTY. More
People is not condemned for doing unsual things. To condemn someone, to be able to say you have proven guilt, you must refute even the most unusual possibilities. Otherwise, the "in dubio pro reo" must be applied. More
Charles Roberson an American computer scientist and chess programmer author of the chess enginesNoonianChess, Telepath and Ares and as ICGA panelist during the official voting:
I think the key to the Fruit eval issue is whether or not they both could have been inspired by other previous open source code and open technical discussions. On this issue, I've found some of Zach's paper to be incorrect as to the originality of Fruit's eval.
It helps to understand the Abstraction Filtration Comparison test procedure.
It helps to understand concepts such as cognitive dissonance, groupthink, psychology and so on.
And it helps to understand chess programming.
In other words to make sense of it all you have to be pretty smart, able to gather material from several disparate fields, have a good analytical brain and knowledge of the field itself as well as the fields of psychology and sociology amongst others. Needless to say this is a pretty rare combination amongst computer chess programmers. Plus a great deal of time.
Very few have analysed this deeply and you'll find most of the strong opinions come from those who haven't analysed. Even if you search deeply, you'll face the disconcerting fact that it's pretty much possible to decide your view in advance and then cherry pick other people's opinions to agree with you.
Either side can advance a compelling case. However, only one side can actually be correct and I (and others) are that side. The case was an outrageous attempt to crush and destroy an outstanding programmer who was defeating all in his path with his opponents unable to comprehend what he had done.
In the beginning there was/is a central group in computer chess that believes it owns the space, having invented everything, published academic papers and so on. This group is part academic and quite heavily but not entirely American. If it has a guru/leader figure it would be add prof Hyatt. On the internet it is centered on Computer chess club.
When an outsider appears from nowhere and very quickly overtakes the entire field those that "own the space" had a natural tendency to assume he stole all his ideas from them. Leading this field was ass prof Hyatt who spent around two years of his voluminous output of attacking the character of Vas, the Rybka programmer. Liar, cheat, hooligan and so on. Then someone called Rick Fadden published a post on which he claimed a disassembly of Rybka UCI function was very similar to the program Fruit. It wasn't, the disassembly was errored, but the effect (Rybka was now not only outperforming but outselling everything else) was to unleash a mass more personal attacks (led by Hyatt again) and to provoke more disassembly of Rybka code. Alongside all this a mysterious group of Russians published a program which Vas claimed was a copy of Rybka.
By now Vas has many enemies, Hyatt, Russian hackers, many outclassed programmers, plus end users who "follow" the above. Also many friends, some fellow programmers and end users who were using Rybka.
Probably I got much of the ordering wrong and forgot some things, but at this stage Vas went off and made his own forum, Rybka.net
Things escalated. People disassembled Rybka, a program Strelka which was supposed to be like Fruit and since Vas said Strelka was a copy of Rybka and so on.
A group of "leading" programmers got together and asked Levy of ICGA to make an investigation. They put together a team of three to lead this (led by ass prof Hyatt) and called for a "panel" of experts gathering up fifty or sixty people, many of whom were not expert at anything. My application was rejected. Since I am probably the best arguer in comp chess you can see which way this was headed. Ed Schroder resigned in protest. The panel "discussions" were secret, although the written statements have since been leaked by dissenters. The panel voted, including the second and third place winners in tournaments Vas would be disqualified from, thus they became World Champion as a result.
Marcel Kervinck, also a dissenter, has said that in fact there was a panel in which very little was said, and an internal group which talked on the side and was responsible for pushing through the guilty vote.
So, guilty vote passed to Levy of ICGA who was not disagreeing and published a very attacking verdict, banned Vas forclife, took away his titles and distributed them to the lucky panelists who voted Vas guilty, whilst press releasing the news into the media.
So, at this point, just about everybody thought well ok, their favorite programmers in their favorite hobby led by the great ICGA say Vas guilty, so they all think so too. Except me. And so began a two years or more war in which the case of the accusers was gradually picked apart and destroyed, gradually more and more programmers (and some other experts) came in until essentially the broad middle ground of programmers, not known for extreme views, condemned the ICGA process.
If you ask where the consensus is now, I would guess it is that Vas did not copy code, but he did use ideas from Fruit, and that this ideas use is no more and no less than any other programmers do. See Dann Corbitt for a typical middle ground view.
Of course, the reputations of the accusing side rests entirely on verdict guilty, so you will still find them arguing it. But, nobody actually believes Vas is a thief, hooligan, liar, cheat, copier, whatever for there is no evidence for that. But these slurs form something for the accusers to hang their cognitive dissonance onto. When reputation is on the line (accusers wrong) or the hobby you loved appears corrupt, or the programmers you looked up to and bought product from might have conspired to destroy another programmer for very base motives, then cognitive dissonance generates all these easy hate words, rather than face the dissonance.
Woo!! That was a long post over one coffee in my cafe!
It was a nasty case, but I guess that's an inevitable result when one group gets together with intent destroy an opponent they couldn't destroy over the chess board. Very bad groupthink. Very bad concept of "ownership of the space". All came together into one very destructive event.
Ends off topic rant !!