With plenty of assistance from Matt Simmerson, Daniele and me have now managed to solve some outstanding problems with the competition software. In this new version of the Java client software (downlad), the following are the main changes:
- The client now tries resending information in case it does not get an answer from the server within a short time. This solves some problems with multitasking and networking on Windows.
- Evaluation automatically stops if the car’s damage counter goes above 5000. This is done to avoid TORCS shutting down the race itself (which it would do in cases of damage over 10000, and which would stop the serverbot listening).
- The distanceRaced value (suggested fitness measure) is now “throttled” so that it cannot increase or decrease too much in any time step. This removes an exploit that evolution found earlier on, which had the car crossing the start/finish line twice just after starting, erroneously adding a full lap to distanceRaced.
- The fields in the Action class are now all public.
- The default number of time steps in the SoloEvaluator are increased to 3000, on order to allow for more meaningful evaluation. In the final scoring we will likely use evaluation lengths of 10000 steps.
Usage instructions is just the same as for the last version. Go ahead and try it; you find any additional problems, please let us know!