Department of Computer Science | Institute of Theoretical Computer Science | CADMO

Theory of Combinatorial Algorithms

Prof. Emo Welzl and Prof. Bernd Gärtner

Mittagsseminar (in cooperation with M. Ghaffari, A. Steger and B. Sudakov)

Mittagsseminar Talk Information

Date and Time: Tuesday, December 01, 2009, 12:15 pm

Duration: This information is not available in the database

Location: CAB G51

Speaker: Gabriel Nivasch

On the Sprague-Grundy function for Wythoff's game

Wythoff's game is the following two-player game: There are two piles of tokens. On each turn, a player takes either any number of tokens from one pile, or the same number of tokens from both piles. The last player to move is the winner. The winning strategy for this game is well-known (Wythoff, 1907).

The Sprague-Grundy function (Sprague, 1936; Grundy, 1939) is something that allows one to play "sums" of impartial games. The Sprague-Grundy function for Wythoff's game looks quite chaotic, but we prove the following simple property: For every fixed g, the n-th g-value is always within a bounded distance of the n-th 0-value.

We also briefly describe a recursive algorithm for finding the n-th g-value in time O(log n), but which depends on an unproven "convergence" conjecture.

At the end we will mention an open problem regarding 3-row Chomp (another game) of very similar flavor.

This work is based on the speaker's Master's thesis (Weizmann Institute of Science, 2005).

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