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Wikipedia Description

Alphabeta pruning is a search algorithm that seeks to decrease the number of nodes that are evaluated by the minimax algorithm in its search tree. It is an adversarial search algorithm used commonly for machine playing of two-player games ( Tic-tac-toe, Chess, Go, etc.). It stops completely evaluating a move when at least one possibility has been found that proves the move to be worse than a previously examined move. Such moves need not be evaluated further. When applied to a standard minimax tree, it returns the same move as minimax would, but prunes away branches that cannot possibly influence the final decision. Allen Newell and Herbert A. Simon who used what John McCarthy calls an approximation in 1958 wrote that alphabeta appears to have been reinvented a number of times. Arthur Samuel had an early version and Richards, Hart, Levine and/or Edwards found alphabeta independently in the United States. McCarthy proposed similar ideas during the Dartmouth Conference in 1956 and suggested it to a group of his students including Alan Kotok at MIT in 1961. Alexander Brudno independently discovered the alphabeta algorithm, publishing his results in 1963. Donald Knuth and Ronald W. Moore refined the algorithm in 1975 and Judea Pearl proved its optimality in 1982.

graphs, minimax, search