Windows HPC Server and the game of Go: Challenging 10^170 search space.

In the past year, the Microsoft HPC team has demonstrated the ManyFacesOfGo application running on the Surface and offloading game play calculations to a Windows HPC Server at several events.   Here’s a little bit of background information.   This beautifully done demo still lives permanently in Microsoft’s B43 Lobby.  Better yet, you don’t need a Microsoft surface to try out the program, it’s now available for download !

An IBM super computer made headlines around the world 12 years ago when Deep Blue beat world champion Garry Kasparov.   While Chess has an impressive complexity search space of 10^50, the game of Go, however, has a complexity search space of an amazing 10^170.  One computer will not be nearly enough to do this level of computation. ManyFacesOfGo awarded the computer world championship, last year, running on our extremely powerful Windows High Performance Compute Server 2008 cluster (competition results).

The client machine is a Microsoft Surface unit. The application running on the Surface has been developed with WPF.  It is  one of the successful use scenarios for the Microsoft Surface, due to its super realistic visual and natural user interface.  As an ancient art, Go equipment visual design has been perfected for over 2500 years, the most expensive Go board could set you back $20,000.  Our WPF implementation gives an amazing detail resemblance to an expensive Go Board, even down to how the stones are placed with slight offsets, simulating realism.

The combination of Microsoft Surface and HPCS2008 demonstrates Microsoft’s powerful HPC server as well as innovations in Client UI technology.


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