Accelerating Board Games Through Hardware/Software Codesign

Javier Olivito, Javier Resano, Jose Luis Briz
2017 IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games  
Board games applications usually offer a great user experience when running on desktop computers. Powerful high performance processors working without energy restrictions successfully deal with the exploration of large game trees, delivering strong play to satisfy demanding users. However, nowadays, more and more game players are running these games on smartphones and tablets, where the lower computational power and limited power budget yield a much weaker play. Recent Systems-on-a-Chip include
more » ... programmable logic tightly coupled with general-purpose processors enabling the inclusion of custom accelerators for any application to improve both performance and energy efficiency. In this article, we analyze the benefits of partitioning the artificial intelligence of board games into software and hardware. We have chosen as case studies three popular and complex board games, Reversi, Blokus, and Connect-6. The designs analyzed include hardware accelerators for board processing which improve performance and energy efficiency by an order of magnitude leading to much stronger and battery-aware applications. The results demonstrate that the use of hardware/software co-design to develop board games allows sustaining or even improving the user experience across platforms while keeping power and energy low.
doi:10.1109/tciaig.2016.2604923 fatcat:y4p3onodnbcn5l6yulazojjmsi