Weak score estimator and Japanese rules

Three voters with three answers, I like the direction this is going. But I realized I left out one option:

  • You should not use Japanese rules

The best option.


Under Japanese rules, the SE should not put marks on stones, except when it thinks they’re dead (as E4 in the diagram).
Then I see 5 white points and 6 black points. There is no komi, so black is leading by 1 point would be consistent with the territory markings in the diagram.

Edit: I think those territory markings would be wrong for territory scoring. As the SE uses area scoring under the hood, what would the markings at D1 and E1 mean? If it expects stones there, D1 an E1 should not be marked at all, because those will be dame points or boundaries under territory scoring.

Edit2: The difference between area scoring and territory scoring should be small in most cases and the SE is purposefully weak and known to be inaccurate. Why bother to tweak it for territory scoring?


There should be “estimator” where you can freely and easy paint like in Paint. And this estimator would just exactly count area of what you painted. Nothing Go related.
Something like Voronoi_diagram(but with low resolution) may do default paint (before you repaint it).

update: https://forums.online-go.com/t/weak-score-estimator-and-japanese-rules/41041/70


Drawing a line to surround would work quicker on big territories?

A tool like this will remove any ambiguity about external help (besides not being good enough to count 1 by 1…) so i always liked this idea.

Will be a nice teaching tool for early beginners (let make it available in demo)


Drawing lines would be great, but this improvement is much easier:


If we just subtract all the “own” stones and dead stones (and add any prisoners - thanks @benjito), we arrive at something that looks like a Japanese score.

Yes, unfortunately it doesn’t reflect any possible continuation, especially since there’s no way for black to hold the territory at A4. But maybe that’s the kind of mistake you should expect from the weak SE anyway?

It’s very predictably wrong for handicap games, and similarly any game with a lot of early passes:


But more commonly it’s frustrating for it to be off by one in a normal even game, whenever black plays last:


Also, doesn’t it just look wrong to have all those area points marked as territory?

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Maybe it’s easy enough to correct the SE results and stone markings for those specific cases, after the SE did its thing, instead of branching the SE into 2 versions?

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That’s what I’m doing, just modifying its area-scoring results to look like territory scoring. I don’t want to even look at what the SE is doing internally, it’s too scary :see_no_evil:


This is a complicated question, since there are two different score estimators and different contexts (which rules, whether the perspective is a player or spectator) to consider.

My understanding (and I might be wrong about the exact specifics), is that two score estimators are as follows:

  1. A weak score estimator available to the players of an ongoing game (provided that analysis is enabled). This weak estimator only provides an area score estimate, and is known to be highly error prone, often making misjudgements about life and death and will often wildly fluctuate between separate queries on the same position. This one was developed long before the AlphaGo era and the availability of superhuman Go AI engines.
  2. A stronger score estimator that makes use of a strong AI engine. This one is only available to the players after the game has finished, but it is always available to the spectators. This engine is fairly accurate and will appropriately provide either a territory or area scoring estimate depending on which rules the game is using.

I understood this topic is about [1]: the weak SE available to the players during the game.


There are at least three more score estimators on OGS:

  1. The scoring tool you access by clicking in the player names / captures / time section at the top of a game. This one is very accurate but has no intelligence - you have to close all borders and kill all dead groups to use it. Also it doesn’t actually add up the points for you.
  2. The game-end autoscoring tool. This understands rules and dead groups, and unlike the AI score estimator, it makes a clear decision about the status of every point, to always return a valid score (i.e. ending in .5 for normal komi).
  3. The AI analysis graphs generated after a game, which are often quite different from what I see in #2.

But yes, I’m talking about #1.


I feel we are going soon to make the junction with the threads on how to score well, autoscoring and rules…

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I was hoping for some unusual cases in Japanese rules to come up for discussion, but maybe the weak Estimator is too weak for that anyway; it doesn’t even know about atari.


Other: don’t care, it’s a score estimator, it’s not supposed to be accurate.


Well, yes, if we were considering an accurate area score estimator, then those mostly rare situations where Japanese rules behaves very differently in terms of life and death would be a tricky factor to deal with. However, the weak score estimator makes so many more basic mistakes (on straightforward life/death situations that are treated the same under all rule sets) that the more nuanced and uncommon situations would be completely lost in the noise.

In terms of situation 1, I actually think the score estimator should be made even less accurate, so that people learn not to rely on it.

I like the idea of replacing the score estimator with some sort of counting tool, where it’s completely up to the user to judge and mark regions and the tool simply counts.


That’s a confusing way for them, to give a stick of wood instead of a knife. What kind of tool is that? How long before they understand the uselessness? the coexistence of a weak and a strong one makes it even more weird.
I’d prefer @stone_defender suggestion, OGS assuming the choice made by TOS and still offering a light tool to help counting.

Furthermore this painting tool is a bit like a minigame, so it can give motivation to check who has more during the game and that’s a good feature.


Isn’t that pretty much what it is already?

That’s what I use it for, except instead of me having to draw the initial marks it does it for me.

And if we implemented something that did not do this, the first thing people would ask for is “hey, we need an initial estimate here”.

Well, that’s what we have. You click the button, start from the number it gives you, then mentally adjust for what you see and judge…

It’s probably just the name that is wrong…


That’s the key difference.

The tool don’t do it for you but still provides help for your eyes and brain by memorisation of quantities and visual check of completude.

A bit of help like this is acceptable to me, not something playing weiqi at my place during the game, even supra weak. Even if I could discard his way, he’s still interfering and may at times point me something that i didn’t consider, right or wrong.

Take a face to face teaching game. I will accept that the learner uses his finger, and i will accept to help to remind him the size of each territory he calculated. But i will let him fix the boundaries by himself if he ask me. Not my job unless there is a teaching involved ofc.


Maybe you’ll be happier if you see that what I’m trying to do is improve the counting part, where it attempts to score the marked territories and captures on the board, not the actual fuzzy estimation process. Right now OGS does not know how to count, and correct counting would be an important part of any future counting tool.


The key difference is removing the initial estimate, which could provide some degree of automatic assistance in judging the position. In my view, that’s the key difference between having an “estimator” vs a “counting” tool.

Also, with the current system, when the estimator marks living stones incorrectly as dead, how does one correct that?