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An Othello game engine intended for teaching AI algorithms.


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Students should first create a new directory for themselves in
`src/students/'.  This directory name must be unique for each student,
so it is suggested that students use their surname (assuming last
names are unique among all students in the class).  For example, I
would create the following directory:

  $ cd src/students
  $ mkdir sultanik
  $ cd sultanik

Inside this directory the student should create a new .java file for
his/her othello-playing agent.  This filename does not need to be
unique, although it is wise to give it a meaningful name.  For

  $ vim

The combination of the directory name and the othello-playing agent's
class name should be able to provide the professor with enough
information to figure out who wrote the code.

The first line of the java file should be a line defining the package
in which this class will reside.  The package name *is not* arbitrary;
it *must* be `student.' followed by the name of the directory you
created above.  For example:

  package students.sultanik;

It is then useful to import all of the classes that are related to the
Othello game.  This is done with the following command:


You will also need the `Date' class from `java.util' in order to
handle the deadlines:

  import java.util.Date;

You can then create your class.  Each student's othello playing agent
must be a class that extends off of OthelloPlayer.  The class name
must be the same as the filename.  Since I named my file
`EvansOthelloPlayer', I would create the class as follows:

  public class EvansOthelloPlayer extends OthelloPlayer {

For an example, see `src/students/example'.

To compile your code, simply run `make' from the root directory.  If
successful, it should create a new `.jar' file in the `lib' directory
named after the directory you created above.

  $ ls lib
  example.jar  othello.jar
  $ make
  $ ls lib
  example.jar  othello.jar  sultanik.jar

The reason why each agent is compiled to a separate JAR is so that
students can optionally share their compiled players with each other
without having to worry about divulging their code.  (Sure, there are
Java bytecode decompilers, but I think it would take more effort to
reverse engineer another student's agent than to program one's own
agent in the first place!)  Feel free to share your agents with each
other as JARs to have them play against each other.

Note that running `make' will rebuild a lot of the code, not just your
own.  This can often be time consuming and unnecessary.  To compile
just your code, simply run:

  $ make lib/sultanik.jar

where `sultanik' is replaced with the name of the directory you
created above.

You can manually run your code with the following java command:

  $ java -cp lib/othello.jar:lib/sultanik.jar

A script is also provided for convenience called `othello':

  $ ./othello

This will run Othello with a graphical user interface.  If you are
running the program "headless" (e.g., over SSH), a console-based user
interface is also available.  This can be invoked using the command
line option `-nw':

  $ ./othello -nw

You may also supply on the command line the list of players that are
to participate in the game.  Players are specified by their class
name.  For example, the following command will play a game between my
agent and an agent that plays randomly:

  $ ./othello students.sultanik.EvansOthelloPlayer

There is also a HumanOthelloPlayer that will allow the user to control
one of the agents through the user interface.  To play against one's
own agent, one could run:

  $ ./othello students.sultanik.EvansOthelloPlayer

If the players are not provided on the command line the user interface
will display a list of all of the possible player classes it found in
the classpath.

For a complete list of command line options, simply run

  $ ./othello -nw

For those who prefer an IDE over a good old text editor, an Eclipse
project is included in this directory.  Simply open Eclipse and select
File -> Import -> Existing Projects into Workspeace and select this
directory as the root directory.  Note, however, that I have not yet
set up the Eclipse project to correctly build separate JARs for the
Othello classes and individual student's players.  Therefore, if you
would like to share your compiled othello player with a classmate, it
is easiest to build its JAR using the Makefile.

A JavaDoc is automatically built each time your code is recompiled.
To manually force a rebuild of the JavaDoc, run:

  $ make javadoc

The JavaDoc is built in the `doc' directory.

The remainder of the documentation is located within the JavaDoc.


An Othello game engine intended for teaching AI algorithms.







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