The ringmaster

The ringmaster is a command line program which arranges games between GTP engines and keeps track of the results. See Command line below for details of the command line options.

Competitions and runs

The ringmaster takes its instructions from a single configuration file known as the control file. Each control file defines a competition; the output files for that competition are written to the directory containing the control file.

A competition can take place over multiple invocations of the ringmaster (runs). For example, a run can be halted from the console, in which case starting the ringmaster again will make it continue from where it left off.

Competition types

The ringmaster supports a number of different competition types. These are divided into tournaments and tuning events.

In a tournament, the ringmaster plays games between predefined players, in order to compare their strengths. The types of tournament are:

Playoff tournaments
In a playoff tournament the control file explicitly describes one or more pairings of players (matchups). Each matchup can have separate settings.
All-play-all tournaments
In an all-play-all tournament the control file lists a number of players, and games are played with the same settings between each possible pairing.

In a tuning event, the ringmaster runs an algorithm for adjusting player parameters to try to find the values which give strongest play.

See Competition types for full details of the types of tournament and tuning event.