# Minimax with Alpha Beta Pruning

TLDRThis video tutorial explains the Minimax algorithm with Alpha Beta Pruning, focusing on a detailed worked example. The Minimax algorithm is used for decision-making in games, where two players, Max and Min, alternate moves. Max aims to maximize the game's utility score, while Min tries to minimize it. The video demonstrates how Alpha Beta Pruning can significantly reduce the search space and improve efficiency, showing how it works in a step-by-step manner. It also includes an assignment for viewers to practice identifying pruning points in a game tree.

### Takeaways

- π The minimax algorithm is used for decision-making in games, where two players, Max and Min, alternate turns.
- π Minimax uses a game tree to determine the optimal move by considering all possible outcomes.
- π Max aims to maximize the game's utility (score), while Min tries to minimize it.
- π³ The algorithm assumes that both players play optimally, with Min being able to foresee and counter Max's moves.
- π Minimax involves mutually recursive functions: max_value and min_value, which are applied from the root to the leaves of the game tree.
- π Alpha and beta values are used to keep track of the best scores for Max and Min, respectively, and to guide the search process.
- βοΈ Alpha-beta pruning is a technique that reduces the number of nodes evaluated in the tree by eliminating branches that cannot possibly influence the final decision.
- π Alpha is the highest value Max has seen so far, and beta is the lowest value Min has seen so far on a given path.
- π Pruning occurs when a value found in a node exceeds the current alpha or beta threshold, making further exploration of that branch unnecessary.
- π The video provides a worked example to illustrate how minimax with alpha-beta pruning can be applied and how it improves search efficiency.
- π An assignment is mentioned for practice, where viewers are expected to identify pruning points in a given game scenario.

### Q & A

### What is the minimax algorithm?

-The minimax algorithm is a decision-making strategy used in game theory, where two players, Max and Min, alternate turns. Max aims to maximize the reward (utility), while Min tries to minimize it. It's used to find the optimal move for a player, assuming that the opponent is also playing optimally.

### What is the purpose of alpha and beta values in the minimax algorithm?

-Alpha and beta values are used in the minimax algorithm with alpha-beta pruning to help prune the game tree and reduce the number of nodes evaluated in the search. Alpha represents the best possible score that Max can achieve, while beta represents the best possible score that Min can achieve. These values are updated as the algorithm explores the game tree.

### How does alpha-beta pruning improve the efficiency of the minimax algorithm?

-Alpha-beta pruning improves the efficiency of the minimax algorithm by eliminating branches of the game tree that do not need to be evaluated. This is done by using the alpha and beta values to determine when a branch can be ignored because it will not affect the final decision.

### What is the role of the 'Max' player in the minimax algorithm?

-In the minimax algorithm, the 'Max' player aims to maximize the game's utility or score. The algorithm assumes that 'Max' will always choose the move that gives the highest possible score, considering the opponent 'Min' is playing optimally to minimize the score.

### What is the role of the 'Min' player in the minimax algorithm?

-The 'Min' player in the minimax algorithm aims to minimize the game's utility or score. 'Min' is assumed to play optimally to reduce the score that 'Max' can achieve, thus making decisions that are most disadvantageous to 'Max'.

### Can you explain the concept of a 'game tree' in the context of the minimax algorithm?

-A 'game tree' is a tree structure that represents all possible sequences of moves in a game from the current state to the end of the game. Each node in the tree represents a game state, and branches represent possible moves. The minimax algorithm evaluates these sequences to determine the best move.

### How does the minimax algorithm handle alternating turns between Max and Min?

-The minimax algorithm handles alternating turns by recursively calling the 'max_value' and 'min_value' functions. 'Max_value' is called for Max's turn to find the best possible move, and 'min_value' is called for Min's turn to find the move that minimizes Max's score.

### What is the significance of terminal nodes in the context of the minimax algorithm?

-Terminal nodes in the minimax algorithm represent the end of the game tree. They are the leaf nodes where the game's outcome is determined, and their values are used to evaluate the quality of the moves leading to them.

### How does the minimax algorithm determine the best move for the current player?

-The minimax algorithm determines the best move for the current player by evaluating all possible moves to the terminal nodes and then choosing the move that results in the highest score for Max or the lowest score for Min, depending on whose turn it is.

### What is the difference between the minimax algorithm without alpha-beta pruning and with alpha-beta pruning?

-The main difference is the efficiency of the search. Without alpha-beta pruning, the minimax algorithm evaluates every possible branch in the game tree. With alpha-beta pruning, the algorithm skips evaluating branches that are guaranteed not to affect the final decision, thus reducing the number of nodes that need to be evaluated.

### Outlines

### π² Introduction to Minimax Algorithm and Alpha-Beta Pruning

This paragraph introduces the concept of the minimax algorithm with alpha-beta pruning, focusing on a worked example to illustrate the process. The minimax algorithm is used in decision-making and game theory, where two agents, Max and Min, alternate moves to maximize and minimize a game's utility score, respectively. The algorithm assumes rational play by the Min agent, who can foresee the end of the game tree and minimize Max's reward. The paragraph explains the mutual recursion of the max_value and min_value functions, which traverse the game tree. It also introduces the alpha and beta parameters, which represent the best alternatives for Max and Min, respectively, and are used to prune the search tree for efficiency. The paragraph sets the stage for a detailed walkthrough of the algorithm without and then with alpha-beta pruning.

### π³ Demonstrating Alpha-Beta Pruning in Minimax Algorithm

This paragraph delves into the mechanics of alpha-beta pruning within the minimax algorithm, using a step-by-step example. It begins by explaining the initial setup of the algorithm, where alpha and beta values are undefined at the start. As the algorithm progresses, it updates these values based on the rewards encountered. The paragraph details how the algorithm evaluates each child node, updating the current value, alpha, and beta as it goes. It highlights the pruning conditions: if a value found is greater than the current beta, the search can be pruned because Min would prefer that branch; if a value is less than or equal to alpha, the search can be pruned because it's not worth exploring further for Min. The example demonstrates how alpha-beta pruning can significantly reduce the search space, leading to more efficient decision-making.

### π Further Exploration of Alpha-Beta Pruning and Its Efficiency

The final paragraph continues the example from the previous one, exploring further nodes in the game tree and applying alpha-beta pruning. It discusses how alpha and beta values are passed down the tree and how they influence the decision-making process at each node. The paragraph emphasizes the pruning conditions, showing how the algorithm can skip evaluating certain branches of the tree when the outcome would not affect the final decision. It concludes by demonstrating that the top-level node's value remains unchanged, indicating the correct action for Max based on the pruned search. The paragraph reinforces the efficiency gains from alpha-beta pruning and sets the stage for an assignment where learners will identify pruning points in a similar scenario.

### Mindmap

### Keywords

### π‘Minimax Algorithm

### π‘Alpha Beta Pruning

### π‘Game Tree

### π‘Max and Min Agents

### π‘Utility

### π‘Recursive Functions

### π‘Terminal Nodes

### π‘Backtracking

### π‘Search Space

### π‘Pruning

### Highlights

Introduction to the Minimax algorithm with Alpha Beta Pruning.

Explanation of the Minimax algorithm using a game tree.

Role of the Max and Min agents in the game.

Assumption of logical play by the Min agent.

Recursive nature of the Minimax algorithm with max value and min value functions.

Parameters of the Minimax algorithm: state, alpha, and beta.

Alpha as the best alternative for the Max player.

Beta as the best alternative for the Min player and its role in pruning.

Demonstration of the Minimax algorithm without Alpha Beta Pruning.

Explaining the process of updating node values in the tree.

How the Max player chooses the best action based on the tree's value.

Introduction to Alpha Beta Pruning to improve search efficiency.

Initial call to max value with undefined alpha and beta values.

Updating alpha and beta values during the search.

Pruning the search when a child value is greater than beta.

Passing alpha and beta values down the tree during recursion.

Pruning the search when alpha is greater than or equal to the node's value.

Completion of the search and determining the best move for Max.

Assignment prompt to practice finding pruning points in a similar example.