NNUE

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Toriyama Sekien - Nue (鵺) [1] [2]

NNUE, (ƎUИИ Efficiently Updatable Neural Networks)
a Neural Network architecture intended to replace the evaluation of Shogi, chess and other board game playing alpha-beta searchers running on a CPU. NNUE was introduced in 2018 by Yu Nasu [3], and was used in Shogi adaptations of Stockfish such as YaneuraOu [4], and Kristallweizen [5], apparently with AlphaZero strength [6].

Stockfish NNUE

As reported by Henk Drost [7], Nodchip incorporated NNUE into the chess playing Stockfish 10 as a proof of concept. Stockfish NNUE was born, and in summer 2020 the computer chess community bursts out enthusiastically due to its rapidly raising playing strength with different networks trained using a mixture of supervised and reinforcement learning methods - despite the approximately halved search speed, seemingly becoming stronger than its original [8].

NN Structure

The neural network consists of four layers, W1 through W4. The input layer W1 is heavily overparametrized, feeding in the board representation for various king configurations. The efficiency of the net is due to incremental update of W1 in make and unmake move, where only a fraction of its neurons need to be recalculated. The remaining three layers with 256x2x32-32x32-32x1 neurons are computational less expensive, best calculated using appropriate SIMD instructions like AVX2 on x86-64, or if available, AVX-512.

NNUE.jpg

NNUE structure with incremental update [9]

Publications

  • Yu Nasu (2018). ƎUИИ Efficiently Updatable Neural-Network based Evaluation Functions for Computer Shogi. Ziosoft Computer Shogi Club, pdf (Japanese with English abstract)

Forum Posts

External Links

References

  1. Nue (鵺) from the Konjaku Gazu Zoku Hyakki (今昔画図続百鬼) by Toriyama Sekien, circa 1779, Wikimedia Commons
  2. Re: What does NNUE actually mean by Henk Drost, CCC, July 29, 2020
  3. Yu Nasu (2018). ƎUИИ Efficiently Updatable Neural-Network based Evaluation Functions for Computer Shogi. Ziosoft Computer Shogi Club, pdf (Japanese with English abstract)
  4. GitHub - yaneurao/YaneuraOu: YaneuraOu is the World's Strongest Shogi engine(AI player), WCSC29 1st winner, educational and USI compliant engine
  5. GitHub - Tama4649/Kristallweizen: 第29回世界コンピュータ将棋選手権 準優勝のKristallweizenです。
  6. The Stockfish of shogi by Larry Kaufman, CCC, January 07, 2020
  7. Stockfish NN release (NNUE) by Henk Drost, CCC, May 31, 2020
  8. Can the sardine! NNUE clobbers SF by Henk Drost, CCC, July 16, 2020
  9. Image from Yu Nasu (2018). ƎUИИ Efficiently Updatable Neural-Network based Evaluation Functions for Computer Shogi. Ziosoft Computer Shogi Club, pdf (Japanese with English abstract)

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