David Levy asked for opinions

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Milos
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by Milos » Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:28 pm

mar wrote:Either sue Rajlich whoever has the right to do so or shut up. This witch hunt starts to get annoying. Would go after Rybka if it was #2 or #3? I really doubt that. Hypocrisy. Jealousy.
Rybka is not #1, it's not even #2. So you are just BS-ing.
And for your information Rajlich is going to be sued, just wait and see ;).

bob
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by bob » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:20 pm

Mike S. wrote:If reverse engineering is illegal, then the so called peers have no basis whatsoever to judge upon, significantly.
Reverse-engineering is not illegal, however. But what you do with the reverse-engineered product could end up being so.

jdart
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by jdart » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:26 pm

ICGA can set up whatever rules they want. But I'm not sure a tribunal is going to help things. I think a program that would get judged in this way would probably just not participate.

Also, I agree there are some difficulties with programs that are closed source. Technically these could have improperly used some parts of another program and that may not be detectable. So you are really punishing inexpert "cloners" it seems to me.

And what if - hypothetically - someone were to modify an existing engine that had a permissive license (not GPL)? Would this be acceptable to ICGA, or would it just be considered a non-original work? What if the author made it 200 ELO stronger?

benstoker
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by benstoker » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:59 pm

jdart wrote:ICGA can set up whatever rules they want. But I'm not sure a tribunal is going to help things. I think a program that would get judged in this way would probably just not participate.

Also, I agree there are some difficulties with programs that are closed source. Technically these could have improperly used some parts of another program and that may not be detectable. So you are really punishing inexpert "cloners" it seems to me.

And what if - hypothetically - someone were to modify an existing engine that had a permissive license (not GPL)? Would this be acceptable to ICGA, or would it just be considered a non-original work? What if the author made it 200 ELO stronger?
You hit the nail on the head.

Assuming you define the clone criteria well enough, and then require closed source tournament participants to reveal source code for inspection, and settle on the conditions for such disclosure and examination, you still must convince closed source particiants to submit to this regime.

The ICGA is a self-policing type of tribunal. Its authority is as wide and strong as the number of people who voluntarily submit to its regime. Nobody can be forced to enter, of course! If it is to have any teeth, you would need to have the big commercial chess software companies back it and support it, along with other prestigious, recognized computer chess leaders and contributors.

If the ICGA tribunal does not have a well-defined set of published criteria for determining impermissible derivations, then it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If the ICGA is unwilling to enforce its rules by requiring suspected closed source authors to submit their code for examination, then it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If prestigious closed source engine authors have no incentive to voluntarily submit to the ICGA regime in order to win its prize, then the prestige and authority of the ICGA is itself put into question, and its back to the Law of the Jungle.

If a prestigious closed source engine author believes he can make as much money without an ICGA title as with one, because he believes the Internet will be all the advertising he needs, then the regime is not much of a regime, and it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If prestigious top closed source engine authors drop out of the ICGA, then the tournament becomes one for open source authors and second tier closed source authors, and the top chess engine community becomes all the more balkanized. And, back to the Law of the Jungle.

Thus, the ICGA has to measure whether losing the participation and defection of the top engines, like Rybka, is worth it. Does the ICGA really want to hold a tournament that does not have Rybka participating? Probably not. Will Chessbase sponsor ICGA if it demands that Rybka submit its source code for examination in order to participate?

Back to the Law of the Jungle.

bob
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by bob » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:18 am

benstoker wrote:
jdart wrote:ICGA can set up whatever rules they want. But I'm not sure a tribunal is going to help things. I think a program that would get judged in this way would probably just not participate.

Also, I agree there are some difficulties with programs that are closed source. Technically these could have improperly used some parts of another program and that may not be detectable. So you are really punishing inexpert "cloners" it seems to me.

And what if - hypothetically - someone were to modify an existing engine that had a permissive license (not GPL)? Would this be acceptable to ICGA, or would it just be considered a non-original work? What if the author made it 200 ELO stronger?
You hit the nail on the head.

Assuming you define the clone criteria well enough, and then require closed source tournament participants to reveal source code for inspection, and settle on the conditions for such disclosure and examination, you still must convince closed source particiants to submit to this regime.

The ICGA is a self-policing type of tribunal. Its authority is as wide and strong as the number of people who voluntarily submit to its regime. Nobody can be forced to enter, of course! If it is to have any teeth, you would need to have the big commercial chess software companies back it and support it, along with other prestigious, recognized computer chess leaders and contributors.

If the ICGA tribunal does not have a well-defined set of published criteria for determining impermissible derivations, then it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If the ICGA is unwilling to enforce its rules by requiring suspected closed source authors to submit their code for examination, then it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If prestigious closed source engine authors have no incentive to voluntarily submit to the ICGA regime in order to win its prize, then the prestige and authority of the ICGA is itself put into question, and its back to the Law of the Jungle.

If a prestigious closed source engine author believes he can make as much money without an ICGA title as with one, because he believes the Internet will be all the advertising he needs, then the regime is not much of a regime, and it's back to the Law of the Jungle.

If prestigious top closed source engine authors drop out of the ICGA, then the tournament becomes one for open source authors and second tier closed source authors, and the top chess engine community becomes all the more balkanized. And, back to the Law of the Jungle.

Thus, the ICGA has to measure whether losing the participation and defection of the top engines, like Rybka, is worth it. Does the ICGA really want to hold a tournament that does not have Rybka participating? Probably not. Will Chessbase sponsor ICGA if it demands that Rybka submit its source code for examination in order to participate?

Back to the Law of the Jungle.
I think the problem will likely work itself out. For example, if all tournaments require vetting by the ICGA, which was one of the original purposes (we even had a sanctions committee to "sanction" computer chess tournaments that followed our guidelines, I was even an early chairman of that group in fact), then a commercial programmer will be left with either no way to participate, which will certainly hurt the advertising, or he will comply to show that he has not violated any rules. Nobody likes to give blood for doping tests, but they do it to compete.

jdart
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by jdart » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:13 am

I disagree that this will work. I think if I were a commercial engine author, I'd just blow them off. ICGA is not important. Chessmaster is not going to sell fewer copies because they aren't in an ICGA sanctioned tournment. IMO neither is Rybka, or Naum, or Shredder.

bob
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by bob » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:18 am

jdart wrote:I disagree that this will work. I think if I were a commercial engine author, I'd just blow them off. ICGA is not important. Chessmaster is not going to sell fewer copies because they aren't in an ICGA sanctioned tournment. IMO neither is Rybka, or Naum, or Shredder.
I have no real idea of the worth of the "world computer champion" title in advertising circles. But it is worth more than zero, and losing that might make a difference. And in addition to not being able to participate with a new clone or derivative, one also gets the stigma that will be associated when the plagiarism is made public...

Yes, it would likely be better to avoid revealing source. But over time, source is not needed when the binary is available, and that will certainly be available for inspection and testing.

One thing it would do is drive off the "suspects" so that tournaments are held for those that have actually done some work writing their own code... Which would be a change from what we have had in recent years.

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Rolf
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by Rolf » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:19 am

bob wrote:
Mike S. wrote:If reverse engineering is illegal, then the so called peers have no basis whatsoever to judge upon, significantly.
Reverse-engineering is not illegal, however. But what you do with the reverse-engineered product could end up being so.
I see a serious problem with the known "Norman" who is kind of stalking Vas. So if this is brought into the tribunal by you, Bob, with all the other friends, I see no chance for a tribunal. Because it's normal that all only want to get the source of Rybka. So, Vas must be an idiot if he would agree to such a tribunal. There is no other commercial product that is competing with Rybka so that it would be incentive for a check up.

In my eyes the practice of these anonymous guys who somehow took Rybka and made their own thing, only to publish the source, what then destroyed the chances for Rybka again, is a real problem. If the community does not want to outsort these chaots, I see no chance for a tribunal either. Because then we had no Law.

I dont get why Fabien doesnt make the expected move into a legal case. If he cant trust that he could win, then you cannot expect from Vas that he gives into such a strange tribunal.
-Popper and Lakatos are good but I'm stuck on Leibowitz

Milos
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by Milos » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:40 am

bob wrote:I have no real idea of the worth of the "world computer champion" title in advertising circles. But it is worth more than zero, and losing that might make a difference. And in addition to not being able to participate with a new clone or derivative, one also gets the stigma that will be associated when the plagiarism is made public...
Anyone can advertise what they wish.
However, ICGA calling its events "World championship" is just ridiculous. A private organization practically owned by David Levy decides about who is champion of the world is just preposterous.
Computer chess is so unimportant in circles outside of couple of these geek forums that it's not even worth to make an independent organization that would claim its own "World title championship" what is the case with real chess.
CC is also totally unimportant in academic circles. You can see that by number of theses and number of publication compared to other AI research areas. If the field was more interesting the progress would be much faster. Frankly speaking the field in which the total number of authorities is less than 10 and most of them are in fifth or sixth decade of life is far from being promising. In reality it's not scientific but engineering field without real commercial prospect, meaning it's doomed to be the back hole of real science and commercial engineering.

And having some idea about self-importance thanks to IBM or Cray self-(mostly hardware) promoting events from the past is nothing but delusional.
It's nice to be CC enthusiast, but obviously some ppl are lacking a thorough reality check...

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geots
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Re: David Levy asked for opinions

Post by geots » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:11 am

Tom Barrister wrote:Mr. Levy's proposal is going to face several major hurdles as far as where the line is drawn. Pardon me if this rambles a bit, repeats itself in places, or otherwise runs longer than it needs to.

1) What is the definition of cloned/stolen/derived/etc. code? Does it need to be verbatim? The same basic thing (i.e. Fruit rewritten for bitboards)? Generally the same?

2) How much "stolen code" constitutes a punishable offense? If, for example, a programmer took a shortcut and incorporated 12 lines of GPL-protected code, is it okay? How about 40 lines? 100 lines? 40%?

3) Are you going to punish the person/company/team for all of its output, or will punishment be confined to the engines that were proven to be in violation? For example, assume that Rybka 1.0 was Fruit. Assume Rybka 2.x was determined to be similar enough to Fruit to meet disqualification. Now assume that Rybka 3.x was determined to be completely rewritten from scratch, and it has nothing substantial to do with Fruit or any other GPL or private source. Do you strip Mr. Rajlich of all of his titles, because he cheated? Or do you just strip those won by Rybka 2 and earlier? Is the cheater banned in the future, even if he/she produces a totally "clean" engine hereafter?

Then there's the problem of fairness to all. If Mr. Rajlich is accused and has to produce source to the tribunal, shouldn't everybody whose engine is closed-source (commercial or private) also have to produce their source. Who's to say that the authors of commercial software such as Naum, Shredder, Fritz, Hiarcs, etc., as well as those who have private engines haven't also stolen code from GPL-protected source or from decompiled commercial engines? How many helped themselves to the Robbolito/Ippolit code, which is assumed to be Rybka?

Then there's the problem of where the line is drawn as to what needs to be revealed. If we're going to require Mr. Rajlich to reveal Rybka 1.0, why not all the other versions, as well? Since it's not fair to single out Mr. Rajlich, we need to line up all the other authors of closed-source engines and require them to all reveal the source of every version that they produced, as well. What happens if somebody refuses to reveal their source (as almost all of them will).

When we have all of the countless versions available, the next step is to wade through all of the code for each and decide what's in violation of what. Is this "snippet" a violation of GPL? Is it a violation of somebody's private source code? Who owns what? Who's going to do all of the work?

In short, the tribunal will first have to determine:

1) What is considered a violation.

2) How severe the punishment is.

3) Who has to participate, and what the penalty is for non-participation.

4) Who's going to do all of the necessary work.

Then there's another problem. What about authors who may have used what they thought was open source code but which turned out to actually be "pirated" from somebody else. Even though they may have acted in good faith, are they also guilty of being in violation?

There's no way to cut to the chase here. If somebody is required to reveal closed-source, they're going to demand that everybody else needs to, as well. If Mr. Rajlich has all titles stripped and is banned from future competition, and it turns out that Rybka 3.x and 4.x are "clean", then there will be complaints about punishment being too severe. Then there''s the dodging around that will happen to punished offenders. They'll assign their software to beards, and "clean" versions will come out under new "management", and possibly under new engine-names, demanding to be included....while the original author could still actually be doing the writing.

It's a mess, because there's no way you're going to get one author to reveal the source to his commercial and/or private engine, without that author demanding that everybody else needs to do the same thing; there's no way you're going to get a dozen authors to all agree to reveal the source to each of their versions; and if that's managed, there's no way you're going to find enough people to wade through those hundreds of versions, examine the source, and determine what's a violation and what isn't.

It wouldn't surprise me if, assuming you could get the source to every commercial engine in existence, that every last one of them contained at least some source code that was in violation of the GPL or taken from somebody else without permission. Nor would it surprise me if some of them were actually "clean".

The point is that it's too unwieldy, in my opinion, to do as Mr. Levy suggests, while being fair to everybody.

That said, it would be a great gesture if Mr. Rajlich voluntarily revealed the source to Rybka 1.0 so that he could prove that it wasn't taken directly/indirectly from Fruit. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Tom, you and I got off on the wrong foot, but I have to give credit where credit is due. All anyone has talked about is Rybka, and I havent posted this, but I have wondered before that if Rybka has to stand up to certain expectations, then why would that not mean Shredder, Hiarcs, Fritz and all the rest would have to do the same. There may be nothing there they have done wrong- but no one has even dared question them. If its good for the goose, it's good for the gander. Reading I guess between the lines, I see you saying that this whole thing could easily snowball and turn into one heel of a mess that no one is even expecting.

Anyway, All the Best To You


George

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