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Ponder - AlekErickson - 10-30-2020

How about an option to let the AI think during human player's turn? 
This feature will save time in games where AI don't perform well, such as Tumbleweed.

RE: Ponder - DennisSoemers - 10-30-2020

I've had a job to do exactly that on my TODO list for almost one and a half years already so... yes, we've considered it and hopefully will at some point do that :)

It's not a super high priority though. Most AIs often actually have diminishing returns when it comes to performance gain per extra unit of time you give them. For example, Alpha-Beta engines only improve if you give them enough extra time to reach a new depth level, and every new depth level takes significantly more time than the previous one. Curves of playing strength on y-axis, iteration count on x-axis for MCTS-based AIs also typically tend to have a decreasing slope. So, while it can be nice and improve AI a bit, I would not expect major increases in performance in general (unless the human goes to sleep or something).

On the other hand, the extra complications for implementation can be annoying. Adding an extra layer of threading and communication between threads can cause all sorts of issues. Having a thread running tree search for uncontrolled amounts of time (because the human may go to sleep and leave Ludii running) also raises all sorts of questions about memory usage by the tree search and crashing due to running out of memory, which we don't really have to worry about when AIs only think for reasonable, short amounts of time in their own turns. So, right now I don't feel like the benefits outweigh the headaches enough to make it a priority.