The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #93101

Title:Convent - a Bridge Bidding System
Date: 1993
Abstract:This work addresses the problem of getting a computer to bid in the game of bridge. The computer is constrained by having to follow certain rules that depend on the bidding convention it is using. The interesting cases are when no rule applies, or when more than one does. Instead of producing decision procedures for these problem situations, the preferred approach has been to give all bidding rules a declarative form from which in any position a confidence factor to be associated with the rule can be calculated. The bid is then simply that with the highest confidence. The use of confidence factors has led to the need for many bridge concepts, such as suit biddability, to be defined as real-valued functions. A valuable side effect of programming bidding has been the implementation of a simple mechanism for making inferences about other players' hands based on their bids. Its main restriction is that inferences about different bridge concepts have to be treated separately. The Acol convention was chosen for implementation. Time limitations meant that certain areas had to be concentrated on ahead of others. In situations in which the opponents do not intervene and which are continuations of more common opening bids, a reasonable standard of performance has been achieved.

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