Analysis of a Winning Computational Billiards Player

We discuss CueCard, the program that won the 2008 Computer Olympiad computational pool tournament. Beside addressing intrinsic interest in a complex competitive environment with unique features, our goal is to isolate the factors that contributed to the performance so that the lessons can be transferred to other, similar domains. Specifically, we distinguish among pure engineering factors (such as using a computer cluster), domain-specific factors (such as optimized break shots), and domain-independent factors (such as state clustering). Our conclusion is that each type of factor contributed to the performance of the program.

Christopher Archibald, Alon Altman, Yoav Shoham