Following up on my previous post about optimal hangman strategy, I’ve run some more experiments, fixed up and tested my script, with some interesting results.
First of all, I tested the script in a game of hangman against every single word in a 70k word dictionary. I played with 10 lives before losing, which is probably on the conservative side, 12 seems like a common figure. The script lost on 469 words, of which 99 were 3 letters long. There were 20 words 7 letters long, all of which ended in ‘ing’. There were no words of 8 letters or longer.
A post on DataGenetics did the rounds last week, applying the might of statistical analysis to the game Hangman to try and guess what an optimal strategy might be. Many techniques were leveled at the problem, from basic analysis of letter frequencies to conditional probability, all in order to try and generate the best sequence you should call the letters.
Having read it I was slightly perplexed, it seemed like massive overkill for something that can be calculated fairly simply, so I created pyngman, a python script that generates optimal next guesses for Hangman. Input the state of the game and the letters you’ve called and it will tell you what letter to call next.
You supply the information as a state, such as ..e.., where .’s are unknown letters, followed by a list of letters you’ve tried:
$ pyngman -state ..e.. est
> Your best next guess is: a
It does this by using a dictionary (you must supply the dictionary, so the results will change depending on what you supply!), and looking at all possible words that could be the solution, and working out the letter with the highest probability of being present. So far I have been unable to find a word which causes the program to lose a game of hangman!
Grab pyngman from github and have a go yourself
I’ve just released the first beta version of my first Android game: Dust. It’s a casual game, in which you have to herd dust particles around my desk and into a fiery pit! You can play in either time-trial mode, or in maze mode, where there are 5 levels to complete. Get it now from the Android market! QRCode after the break. (more…)
Ormeo is a web-wide comments system. It can be installed on a single site so that anyone can comment, or it can be installed on your computer, allowing you to comment on anything on the web.
Ormeo started off as an idea, then grew into an experiment in JQuery, and finished off as a fully functional web-app, complete with Firefox Extension. Ormeo is the system used on this site for comments, instead of wordpress’s own system. This allows visitors to this site to use their Ormeo login for every site they visit!
Click the Ormeo tab (on the lower right hand side of the page) to comment now!
I made this site while trying to revise for exams. People can create consequences to add to the pool, generate their own and vote on other people’s, as well as see the most popular consequences.
Dust Flash Game
This was my first attempt at making a flash game. The goal is to push the dust particles into the centre before the timer runs out. Watch out for walls!
Marilyn Colour Chooser
Create your own version of Any Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe screenprints. This mini-site was made in flash.
A small flash experiment, getting raw mouse input and making a trail of particles follow the cursor around the screen.