Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering


Schalkoff, Robert


The classic board game of checkers is ideally suited for research in AI game-playing programs or agents. The objective behind Soar Checkers is to investigate if it is possible to create an agent-based game playing system that would beat novices with ease and at least challenge advanced novice to intermediate-level players by designing a rules-based expert system whose knowledge base consists of nothing more than the rules of checkers, and a set of guidelines for game-play based on good strategy. Soar was chosen as the platform for building this agent because it came built-in with features that facilitate creating rules-based expert systems, has been proven to be fairly reliable in developing such systems (including flight simulators) for over twenty years and makes it relatively straight-forward to have multiple agents play each other, and to add or modify features or strategies to the agents. Though the problem definition makes it inherently hard to objectively quantify the results, the objectives were successfully achieved for the most part. It was also seen that all other things being equal, the player going second ( White ) has a built-in advantage, thereby confirming a widely held belief among the checkers community.