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 Lessons Learned from RoboCup
Posted on Tuesday December 19, 05:14PM
Here are some of the most common lessons learned, as mentioned in your projects.
  1. Testing with another team will immediately reveal many bugs in the program. Many of you waited until the tournament to do this---bad idea.
  2. Changing one line of code can change the emergent behavior of the whole team in unexpected way. This is what makes multiagent system such fun (and challenging).
  3. Placing a lot of System.out.println() in programs will slow it down a lot. Of course.
  4. The Java Virtual Machine's thread scheduler is not fair or round-robin. I don't know why you would assume it was.
  5. Always looking towards the ball to see where it is can make a player very slow moving. Imagine that!

 Grades are IN
Posted on Saturday December 16, 11:03AM
The final grades are posted on the left.

Happy Holidays!

 Milan 2000 wins!!!
Posted on Tuesday December 05, 05:35PM
The Milan 2000 team clearly dominated the field, winning all games by a margin of at least three points. They did receive a significant challenge from the other finalist, the JNTU team, who lost 1-4 in the final game.

The other semifinalists were the Gamecocks (of course :-), and the Sharpshooters.

Overall I think everybody made a valiant effort. Most of the teams showed some exciting team playing. There was a lot of passing (even if the pass was not always caught) and several good adaptive zone strategies. I eagerly await your writeups. Please remember to detail how your strategy works. As you can tell, it is often hard to tell how the players are implemented by just looking at them.

Finally, I have made available the log files from the final, semifinals, and two other games. They are .zip files which you must uncompress before running in the soccermonitor. To view the log files just run the soccermonitor (no need to run the server), the under LogPlayer->OpenFile open the unzipped file, then press the "play" button.

 Grades for PS 6 are out
Posted on Thursday November 30, 02:25PM
Pick them up outside my office. Grades, as usual, are on the left.

 Grades for PS5 are out
Posted on Monday November 27, 10:56AM
As usual, you can get them from the link on the left. While Im here I would like to remind you that all the information for your final project presentation and writeup can be found from the "Final Project" link on the left.

 PS 8 is out
Posted on Thursday November 16, 01:53PM
It is an extra credit, which means that it will not lower your grade but might help to raise it.

  Class cancelations and final presentations
Posted on Tuesday November 14, 12:52PM
I will be out of town so I have cancelled some classes. I have also assigned the final project dates. Notice that you will have 10 minutes. You will be graded based on how well you present your ideas during those 10 minutes. You will have to stop when your time is over.
Check the class calender, on the right, for all the information.

 Tournament Information
Posted on Thursday November 09, 01:19PM
The Second International Amateur Robocup Tournament (i.e., the one you have to participate in) will be held the 5 of December between 1pm and 4pm in room 1D11. I have reserved the room so there should be enough computers for all your players. You might want to try your players in those computers beforehand to make sure it works as you expect it to. Let me know if you have any problems.

Also, you must make sure that there is at least one member from your team in the room at all times between 1 and 4pm, or until you get eliminated. The team member will be responsible for running your team.

 Bug in biter 2.0
Posted on Monday November 06, 07:12PM
I am sure most of you have realized by now that there is a major bug in the ActivityManager of Biter 2.0. Basically, it is calling handle() on every input, when it should really only call it on a "see", and not on a "sense_body" or a "hear". Anyway, the code in question should look like:
	dataFromServer = ProcessSensoryInput.parse(agent.wm.dgWrapper.receive(delay));

	//If it is a "see" action then call handle()
	if( dataFromServer instanceof ObjectInfoContainer )
Yes, there are many bugs in Biter, which is why Im hoping some of you will contribute bugfixes towards Biter 3.0. (Kind of like I just did here).

 PS 7 is Out
Posted on Thursday November 02, 01:37PM
Get it from the menu on the left.

 PS3 Grades Are Out
Posted on Friday October 20, 06:37PM
You can see them at left and pick up your graded paper (with my comments) outside my door.

You should always rememeber a few basic rules:

  1. Every function should have a comment that explains what the function does.
  2. Each file should start with a comment that explains the role of that class in the architecture.
  3. There should be a decription of the architecture.
  4. Do not turn in pages and pages of code which you did not write (that is, the original Biter code).
You will need to conform to these rules for your final project writeup.

It is also clear that some of you still do not understand the concept of individual behaviors and the benefits of separting control knowledge from task-level knowledge.

  Final Project Proposal and Biter
Posted on Tuesday October 10, 12:22PM
Remember that your final project proposal and presentations are due Thursday 19 October 2000. You can see exactly what you need to turn in by reading the Final Project handout. Also, if anyone is interested in having his or her work on the final project please state so on your proposal, specifying which behaviors you think will be good choices for incorporation into the Biter codebase.

 PS5, UML, and Grades
Posted on Tuesday September 26, 02:32PM
A few announcements are in order:
  1. The new PS 5 is out. Check the link on the left.
  2. The grades are in for PS2. They are outside my door.
  3. I have updated the uml link in the biter homepage to point to the new UML diagrams. To see the diagrams you have to open up "Logical View" and double-click on "ActivityManager".
Ok, I think thats it for now. You should get started on PS 5 soon. After that PS is due I will require each team to give a short presentation of their approach for the final project. Check this page for more details...

 PS4 handout fixed
Posted on Thursday September 21, 12:54PM
As you pointed out, there was a typo on PS4. I has been fixed now.

 PS1 Grades are Out
Posted on Wednesday September 13, 03:55PM
You can see the grades for the whole class by clicking on "Grades" on the left column. I have placed the graded PSs outside my door.

I should note that many of you used static variables to enable "communication" between the players on various threads. This would amount to telepathy on the part of the players. It is, of course, not allowed and some of you lost some points because of this. Remember, all communications between players must be via the soccerserver using "say" and "hear" commands. Any teams using other means of inter-agent communications will be disqualified from the final tournament.

 Distributed Programming Class Next Semester
Posted on Tuesday September 12, 10:38AM
Well, it looks like this class will not be taught next semester. It will only be offered once a year, in the Fall semesters. However, the good news is that I will, instead, be teaching a new class next semester on distributed programming. I hope to start with your basic TCP/IP socket programming, and then teach the Java RMI, Corba, Fipa-OS, and DCOM (with some COM thrown in as background material). Needless to say, it will be a programming-intensive class, but it should be lots of fun.

 PS 2 and 3 out
Posted on Wednesday September 06, 10:01AM
As you can see, PS2 and 3 are out. PS3 is rather lengthy, but, how many times do you get a change to implement your own agent architecture?

 Robocop International Competition Results
Posted on Tuesday August 29, 09:26AM
You can view the results of the still ongoing robocup competiton at http://www.robocup2000.org.

 Compiling biter on Windows
Posted on Monday August 28, 03:45PM
To compile biter on windows, after you checked it out and assuming that javac is in your PATH and that you are in the biter directory, type:
javac -g -d .. -classpath .. -sourcepath .. *.java
To run it type:
java -classpath .. biter.SoccerClient
Note that biter can understand a number of command-line arguments. Look at the source code for those.

If you are in Linux (or any other Unix) just type make to compile it and make run to run it.

 Please email me drops and requests for next term.
Posted on Thursday August 24, 12:47PM
For those of you who did not attend class: If you are dropping the class but want to take it next Spring, please send me an email. If there are not enough people interested we will not be teaching it next Spring.

Also note that PS1 can be done in groups of 1 to 3 students, and remember that you all need to sign the coversheet when you turn it in certifying that each one of you did an equal amount of work.

Jose M. Vidal
Last modified: Tue Dec 19 17:20:14 EST 2000