Ajua Player

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Game playing is popular sub-field of the artificial intelligence (AI) branch of Computer Science.  AI researchers have paid particular attention to “deterministic two-player games of perfect information”.  The ancient African game of Mancala is such a game.  There are many variations of the game; the Kenyan Ajua defines one variation.  In order for a computer to play a game of this nature, it needs to use an evaluation function: this is a function that evaluates how favourable or unfavourable a given position is.  The heart of many game player programs is the minimax algorith.  For efficiency, the minimax algorithm often is enhanced with alpha-beta cut-offs, thus forming the alpha-beta search algorithm.

This project designed and implemented a computer program to play the board game Ajua using the minimax search algorithm that uses an evaluation function to choose its moves.  The program allows both human/human and human/computer games to be played, with the computer player being competitive and enjoyable to play against.

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