Acknowledgements

This project is part of the Pac-man projects created by John DeNero and Dan Klein for CS188 at Berkeley EECS. We thank Pieter Abbeel, John DeNero, and Dan Klein for sharing it with us and allowing us to use as course project.

Project 4: Ghostbusters

GHOSTBUSTERS

I can hear you, ghost.
Running won't save you from my
Particle filter!

Introduction

Pacman spends his life running from ghosts, but things were not always so. Legend has it that many years ago, Pacman's great grandfather Grandpac learned to hunt ghosts for sport. However, he was blinded by his power and could only track ghosts by their banging and clanging.

In this project, you will design Pacman agents that use sensors to locate and eat invisible ghosts. You'll advance from locating single, stationary ghosts to hunting packs of multiple moving ghosts with ruthless efficiency.

The code for this project contains the following files, available as a zip archive.

Files you will edit
bustersAgents.py Agents for playing the Ghostbusters variant of Pacman.
inference.py Code for tracking ghosts over time using their sounds.
Files you will not edit
busters.py The main entry to Ghostbusters (replacing Pacman.py)
bustersGhostAgents.py New ghost agents for Ghostbusters
distanceCalculator.py Computes maze distances
game.py Inner workings and helper classes for Pacman
ghostAgents.py Agents to control ghosts
graphicsDisplay.py Graphics for Pacman
graphicsUtils.py Support for Pacman graphics
keyboardAgents.py Keyboard interfaces to control Pacman
layout.py Code for reading layout files and storing their contents
util.py Utility functions

What to submit: You will fill in portions of bustersAgents.py and inference.py during the assignment. You should submit this file with your code and comments. Please do not change the other files in this distribution or submit any of our original files other than inference.py and bustersAgents.py.

Evaluation: Your code will be autograded for technical correctness. Please do not change the names of any provided functions or classes within the code, or you will wreak havoc on the autograder. However, the correctness of your implementation -- not the autograder's judgements -- will be the final judge of your score. If necessary, we will review and grade assignments individually to ensure that you receive due credit for your work.

Academic Dishonesty: We will be checking your code against other submissions in the class for logical redundancy. If you copy someone else's code and submit it with minor changes, we will know. These cheat detectors are quite hard to fool, so please don't try. We trust you all to submit your own work only; please don't let us down. If you do, we will pursue the strongest consequences available to us.

Getting Help: You are not alone! If you find yourself stuck on something, contact the course staff for help. Office hours and piazza are there for your support; please use them. If you can't make our office hours, let us know and we will schedule more. We want these projects to be rewarding and instructional, not frustrating and demoralizing. But, we don't know when or how to help unless you ask.

Ghostbusters and BNs

The goal is to hunt down scared but invisible ghosts. Pacman, ever resourceful, is equipped with sonar (ears) that provides noisy readings of the Manhattan distance to each ghost. The game ends when Pacman has eaten all the ghosts. To start, try playing a game yourself using the keyboard.

  python busters.py

The blocks of color indicate where the each ghost could possibly be, given the noisy distance readings provided to Pacman. The noisy distances at the bottom of the display are always non-negative, and always within 7 of the true distance. The probability of a distance reading decreases exponentially with its difference from the true distance.

Your primary task in this project is to implement inference to track the ghosts. For the keyboard based game above, a crude form of inference was implemented for you by default: all squares in which a ghost could possibly be are shaded by the color of the ghost. Naturally, we want a better estimate of the ghost's position. Fortunately, Bayes' Nets provide us with powerful tools for making the most of the information we have. Throughout the rest of this project, you will implement algorithms for performing both exact and approximate inference using Bayes' Nets. The lab is challenging, so we do encouarge you to start early and seek help when necessary.

While watching and debugging your code with the autograder, it will be helpful to have some understanding of what the autograder is doing. There are 2 types of tests in this project, as differentiated by their *.test files found in the subdirectories of the test_cases folder. For tests of class DoubleInferenceAgentTest, your will see visualizations of the inference distributions generated by your code, but all Pacman actions will be preselected according to the actions of the staff implementation. This is necessary in order to allow comparision of your distributions with the staff's distributions. The second type of test is GameScoreTest, in which your BustersAgent will actually select actions for Pacman and you will watch your Pacman play and win games.

As you implement and debug your code, you may find it useful to run a single test at a time. In order to do this you will need to use the -t flag with the autograder. For example if you only want to run the first test of question 1, use:

python autograder.py -t test_cases/q1/1-ExactObserve
In general, all test cases can be found inside test_cases/q*.

Question 1 (3 points) In this question, you will update the observe method in ExactInference class of inference.py to correctly update the agent's belief distribution over ghost positions given an observation from Pacman's sensors. A correct implementation should also handle one special case: when a ghost is eaten, you should place that ghost in its prison cell, as described in the comments of observe.

To run the autograder for this question and visualize the output:

 python autograder.py -q q1

As you watch the test cases, be sure that you understand how the squares converge to their final coloring. In test cases where is Pacman boxed in (which is to say, he is unable to change his observation point), why does Pacman sometimes have trouble finding the exact location of the ghost?

Note: your busters agents have a separate inference module for each ghost they are tracking. That's why if you print an observation inside the observe function, you'll only see a single number even though there may be multiple ghosts on the board.

Hints:

Ghosts don't hold still forever. Fortunately, your agent has access to the action distribution for any GhostAgent. Your next task is to use the ghost's move distribution to update your agent's beliefs when time elapses and ghosts move.

Question 2 (4 points) In this question, you will implement the elapseTime method in ExactInference. Your agent has access to the action distribution for any GhostAgent. In order to test your elapseTimeimplementation separately from your observe implementation in the previous question, this question will not make use of your observe implementation.

Since Pacman is not utilizing any observations about the ghost, this means that Pacman will start with a uniform distribution over all spaces, and then update his beliefs according to how he knows the Ghost is able to move. Since Pacman is not observing the ghost, this means the ghost's actions will not impact Pacman's beliefs. Over time, Pacman's beliefs will come to reflect places on the board where he believes ghosts are most likely to be given the geometry of the board and what Pacman already knows about their valid movements.

For the tests in this question we will sometimes use a ghost with random movements and other times we will use the GoSouthGhost. This ghost tends to move south so over time, and without any observations, Pacman's belief distribution should begin to focus around the bottom of the board. To see which ghost is used for each test case you can look in the .test files.

To run the autograder for this question and visualize the output:

 python autograder.py -q q2

As an example of the GoSouthGhostAgent, you can run

python autograder.py -t test_cases/q2/2-ExactElapse
and observe that the distribution becomes concentrated at the bottom of the board.

As you watch the autograder output, remember that lighter squares indicate that pacman believes a ghost is more likely to occupy that location, and darker squares indicate a ghost is less likely to occupy that location. For which of the test cases do you notice differences emerging in the shading of the squares? Can you explain why some squares get lighter and some squares get darker?

Hints:

Now, Pacman is ready to hunt down ghosts on his own. You will implement a simple greedy hunting strategy, where Pacman assumes that each ghost is in its most likely position according to its beliefs, then moves toward the closest ghost.

Question 3 (3 points) This question will use your observe and elapseTime implementations together, along with a simple greedy hunting strategy which you will implement for this question. In the simple greedy strategy, Pacman assumes that each ghost is in its most likely position according to its beliefs, then moves toward the closest ghost. Up to this point, Pacman has moved by randomly selecting a valid action.

Implement the chooseAction method in GreedyBustersAgent in bustersAgents.py. Your agent should first find the most likely position of each remaining (uncaptured) ghost, then choose an action that minimizes the distance to the closest ghost. If correctly implemented, your agent should win the game in q3/3-gameScoreTest with a score greater than 700 at least 8 out of 10 times.Note: the autograder will also check the correctness of your inference directly, but the outcome of games is a reasonable sanity check.

To run the autograder for this question and visualize the output:

 python autograder.py -q q3

Note: If you want to run this test (or any of the other tests) without graphics you can add the following flag:

python autograder.py -q q3 --no-graphics
Hints:

Approximate Inference

Approximate inference is very trendy among ghost hunters this season. Next, you will implement a particle filtering algorithm for tracking a single ghost.

Question 4 (3 points) Implement the functions initializeUniformly, getBeliefDistribution, and observe for theParticleFilter class in inference.py. A correct implementation should also handle two special cases. (1) When all your particles receive zero weight based on the evidence, you should resample all particles from the prior to recover. (2) When a ghost is eaten, you should update all particles to place that ghost in its prison cell, as described in the comments of observe. When complete, you should be able to track ghosts nearly as effectively as with exact inference.

To run the autograder for this question and visualize the output:

 python autograder.py -q q4
Hints:

Question 5 (4 points) Implement the elapseTime function for the ParticleFilter class in inference.py. When complete, you should be able to track ghosts nearly as effectively as with exact inference.

Note that in this question, we will test both the elapseTime function in isolation, as well as the full implementation of the particle filter combining elapseTime and observe.

To run the autograder for this question and visualize the output:

 python autograder.py -q q5

For the tests in this question we will sometimes use a ghost with random movements and other times we will use the GoSouthGhost. This ghost tends to move south so over time, and without any observations, Pacman's belief distribution should begin to focus around the bottom of the board. To see which ghost is used for each test case you can look in the .test files. As an example, you can run

python autograder.py -t test_cases/q5/2-ParticleElapse
and observe that the distribution becomes concentrated at the bottom of the board.

Congratulations! Only one more project left.