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Date of Award

Spring 2023


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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Computer Science


Computer Science


We examine various techniques for finding strategies in various games such as rock paper scissors, tic-tac-toe and go by turning a game’s qualitative aspects into quantitative aspects to talk about them mathematically. Game theory and the concept of a Nash equilibrium and subgame perfect equilibrium are introduced, as well as methods for computing each. We then discuss associative decision making, which encompasses concepts such as Markov decision processes, the Bellman equations, rollouts and the Monte Carlo tree search. Finally, we introduct neural networks and provide the theory on how they can assist decision making both in general and in games. A simulation of the techniques neural networks used is provided. Particular attention is given to the program AlphaGo, which was used to defeat former go world champion Lee Sedol four games to one in 2016.