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Reporting GIB Bugs Suggested Dos and Don'ts

#1 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2015-May-12, 13:48

Bridge Base Online offers GIB to its users, either for free or at a small cost depending on when and how it is used. GIB is a bridge-playing robot, or computer program. Since GIB is a computer, there are certain things it does really well as a bridge player. For example, GIB never miscounts a suit. It never misses a spot card. It never forgets its own system. It never fails to notice… well, anything. Overall, GIB plays better than the average player on BBO – in fact, this has been proven, as when GIB plays in BBO tournaments that humans played in as a test, it consistently performs well above average.

However, GIB is far from perfect. When GIB does make an error, it tends to be a dramatic error of the type that humans would rarely make. Why does this happen? There are quite a lot of reasons. GIB may be programmed incorrectly for the auction. GIB may have misunderstood what someone else meant by their bid, and reached a faulty conclusion. Sometimes when GIB doesn't know what to do, it examines a bunch of simulated hands to reach a decision, and although those simulations tend to be quite accurate, they can from time to time reach a silly conclusion for a variety of reasons.

It is important to BBO that GIB plays as well as reasonably possible. After all, many customers pay money to rent GIB, and they deserve a good product. What does BBO do to improve GIB? The answer is, a lot, and you can help! BBO appreciates the help of its players to find problems with GIB so they can be fixed. If you find any problem with GIB, there are several ways to report it. By reporting a hand in any of these ways, it will always be seen and considered.

- If the hand was in a robot tournament, you can send an automated report. After playing the hand, go to My Results toward the right of the screen. Highlight the hand on the list of hands. Toward the bottom, click on Options, mouse over Export Deal, and go to Send Robot Report. You have the opportunity to type a brief message stating what you believe went wrong, then slick Send.
- You can post to the BBO forums, in this sub-forum which is specifically designated for reporting problems with GIB: http://www.bridgebas...bot-discussion/
- You can email support@bridgebase.com with the tourney number and board number, or a link to the hand and a brief description of the problem.
- You can send a private message on BBO, either to jdonn, uday, or georgi.

In order to be most helpful, and help facilitate BBO's improvement of GIB, please consider the following Dos and Don'ts. Please note, these are meant as a general guide to help us all, not hard and fast rules.

- DO report bugs you find at your table, even if they were by your opponent GIB instead of your partner.
- DON'T be rude in your message when you report the bug. We are trying to help you!
- DO report bugs in either the bidding or the play. It's easier for us to work on the bidding, but we work on improving the play as well.
- DON'T report a bid that you think isn't best if it's not really a bug, assuming GIB did make the proper system bid, or a very reasonable choice. For example, If GIB holds AT3 K2 8754 K763 and the auction goes 1 (2) to him, none of P, 2, X, or 2NT are really "bugs" that we are likely to be inclined to fix. Or if GIB bid Stayman with a balanced hand including four small of its major and AQ doubleton on the side, we probably won't change it even if you think just raising to 3NT was a better idea. You can always check with us if you aren't sure, but ultimately we try to go with what seems to us the best mix of "good bridge", and what most GIB users want (many of whom are not expert bridge players, and might be confused that GIB passed with 10 points or failed to bid Stayman).
- DO analyze the hand correctly! Maybe that 4NT bid was supposed to be Keycard Blackwood for hearts after all. Or maybe GIB dropped that K from Kx under the ace because it could be endplayed if it didn't, so it hoped partner had QJx.
- DON'T report a bug just because GIB doesn't play your favorite convention. You can make suggestions if you like, but we have much more important things to work on than Exclusion Keycard Blackwood (such as improving how GIB uses regular Blackwood).
- DO read the explanations of the bids! A common example is something like 1NT (2) P (2), P (2) 2, where 2 showed a single-suited hand, 2 asked which suit, and 2 confirmed hearts. Partner's 2 bid is generally a 4 card suit, since if GIB had a 5 card suit it would have transferred directly over 2. The explanation explains that 2 would likely be a 4 card suit. It can't be stressed enough, please read the explanations of the bids, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble!

Thanks again to all BBO users who use GIB, and who report its problems to us so we can fix them. Your contributions are valuable and appreciated. We will continue to work on improving GIB, as well as implementing some new features and ideas down the road if and when they are possible.

Edit: Here's a help file with screenshots showing various ways to report GIB bugs.

This post has been edited by diana_eva: 2015-May-14, 13:08
Reason for edit: Added link to help file

Please let me know about any questions or interest or bug reports about GIB.
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#2 User is offline   lycier 

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Posted 2015-May-13, 06:40

Honorific Jdonn :

Even if what you said is clear,I have to say sometimes it is partial to your feelings,not our fans.Don't be angry with me,if I make some mistakes,now I beg you pardon in advance.You are very very busy at robot,never know what is the most afraid on this forum.I think there are four things at least to be afraid of.

First thing : No moderaters on this forum.
Rain said

Quote

" Please refrain from using offensive language here. "

You said

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"DON'T be rude in your message when you report the bug. We are trying to help you!"


I have ever seen somebody using offensive language here three times ,even English is not my mother tongue,I also know those comments are verbally abusive and off topic at least,who can maintain order? Maybe you say admin? A new admin had ever dealed with those,but I never think that admin have ability to deal with it well.

Rain said

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" Do understand that this is a public (moderated) forum "


The communication and understanding are the most important parts of bridge.
Who had ever made communication and understanding with our fans?
Georgi? He mainly said : Thanks for reporting,it will be fixed on xx version.Nothing to say about other things,even though he is a kind Yellows.
Stephen Tu? It is only recently for him to let us know more about robot work.
Without communication and understanding ,our fans are afraid you are angry with us because no one is always right under the sun,of course,including anyone whatever it is.
How to do next for us?

Second thing:some concrete requirements are beyond our fans' abilities.

Quote

- DON'T report a bid that you think isn't best if it's not really a bug, assuming GIB did make the proper system bid, or a very reasonable choice.
- DON'T report a bug just because GIB doesn't play your favorite convention. You can make suggestions if you like.



To be honest,I'm afraid this task is beyond our fans sometimes. Here,May I make a example?
Now please look at my thread,its link : Is this a qualified Cappelletti overcall?

As for my thread,there are three issues on it:
1- Should I report ?
If you say "No ",I will be glad to accept it.
2- Should this be a issue with worth discussing?
Of course,our fans think it is.
Should a issue with worth discussing be reported ?
Sorry,obviously we really don't know it.
3- Discussion is also a kind of learning method.
As for my hand,our fans really wanna to know how to bid for expert players if play capp,but we are afraid you are angry with the issue reporter - eventually your BBO ruled that we basically complain about Gib.
How to do next for us?

Third thing:
Barmar said :Why not use " Send Robot Report "?
It is just today I know his exact meanings.His comment is very good.

Jdonn,would you tell us what is the best reporting procedures?
I mean that you would better tell us reporting procedures - first step,second step...... or best method,second method....etcetc.
How many different are there between " Sent Robot Report to you,Uday and Georgi " and " post it on this forum" ?

Fourth thing :
Beg you pardon in advance here again.
To be honest,there is a biggest bug on this forum !
I remembered that I had made several self-judgment on several bug reporting,Georgi's replies are same,it seems I am a "expert" fans,unfortunately, Georgi told me that really isn't a bug at another thread,now I became a "beginner" fans.
Who have told our fans what is standard bug of Gib?
My answer is that no one define bug of Gib exactly.
So," what's a standard bug of Gib is a biggest bug in fact.
So,strangely I found a " bug " ish issue on your this thread :

Quote

-DON'T report a bid that you think isn't best if it's not really a bug, assuming GIB did make the proper system bid, or a very reasonable choice. For example, If GIB holds AT3 K2 8754 K763 and the auction goes 1♥ (2♦) to him, none of P, 2♥, X, or 2NT are really "bugs" that we are likely to be inclined to fix. Or if GIB bid Stayman with a balanced hand including four small of its major and AQ doubleton on the side, we probably won't change it even if you think just raising to 3NT was a better idea. You can always check with us if you aren't sure, but ultimately we try to go with what seems to us the best mix of "good bridge", and what most GIB users want (many of whom are not expert bridge players, and might be confused that GIB passed with 10 points or failed to bid Stayman).



To be honest,your "Don't" is a bit far from fans,even it is beyond us. And it is also paradoxically.
1- If it is a valuable definition on bug according to what you said,please you review our threads in the past- in which we have reported many error of the type,now we know you do not recognise our reports which should meet your reporting requirements.
2- Do you believe we have ability to authenticate bug?
Of course,we have no ability, our fans will try our best,please you don't think we have "complained about Gib" if we really make some mistakes.

Now let's review what Rain said again:

Quote

Do understand that this is a public (moderated) forum - any BBFer can see and reply to your post and give their opinion too. Not everyone wil share your opinion about what constitutes a GIB bug.
This is not for venting against GIB. Bug reports here are meant to help the developers improve GIB and make it play better.



For our fans,we should try to help the developers improve GIB and make it play better,but we also need communication and understanding .
For the staff of BBO,generally speaking,It is just because it is a public forum, it need to have a broader mind and pay more patience.
would I say wrong?

Best Wishes

Lycier
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#3 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2015-May-13, 13:43

Hi Lycier, I'm not sure I understood everything you were saying, but my post was intended to be a general helpful guide of how to report bugs for GIB. My uppercase DO and DON'T was just intended as a style of writing, not shouting or bossing anyone around. Like I said in the post, if you think you should report something or you aren't sure, just report it. I was just trying my best to give guidance.

Maybe it would also have been helpful for me to define "bug". We are looking first and foremost for things that are clearly wrong with GIB. When I used the example of AT3 K2 8754 K763 after 1 (2), I was choosing an example where lots of choices have merit. If we did a bidding poll, they would all get a few votes. It's not a productive use of our time to do a study of what GIB "should" do, when all the choices are reasonable and when the situation is very specific. Someone (I honestly can't remember who) did send a bug report on a hand very similar to that (not exactly the same though), and it seemed to my that GIB made the most popular choice of double, and the sender was unhappy that GIB's choice (combined with their own choice, which was also debatable) led to a poor result.

By contrast, suppose your GIB holds Qxx T9xxx Txx xx and sees the following auction:
1 (1) P (3)
4 (P) ?
Obviously GIB should bid 4. There isn't another remotely reasonable choice. But suppose your GIB passes, choosing the second suit even though he has more cards in the first suit. That is a clear and obvious bug. Something must be programmed incorrectly. Those are especially what we want to know about. Of course, even if someone sends a report that maybe "shouldn't" have been sent, it's no big deal and we will still look at it. But it would save them and us a little time if frivolous reports weren't sent that's all.

I should probably have also been more clear that the BBO forums are a great place to discuss if you aren't sure whether you should or shouldn't report something. In my post I was mostly thinking in terms of the automated robot reports. Those are reports of problems, whereas the forums are a place for open discussion. There was nothing at all wrong with your question about Cappelletti, it was a good question. Regarding your 3 questions on it:
1. I would say no, it's not worthy of a robot report. The bid matches the explanation, and the explanation is part of a common convention. But like I said, if someone reports it, no big deal, and I do understand why since not everyone would bid a major on 4 cards in that spot.
2. Absolutely it's worthy of discussion on BBO forums.
3. Also a big yes.

I wasn't accusing anyone in particular of being rude, but sometimes in the robot reports, people are. "What the [bleep] are your programmers doing, they must be idiots, blah blah blah." Of course they are usually sending a report right after something happened that frustrated them, I understand that. But I think a reminder for everyone to be polite doesn't hurt every now and then. That means BBO as well of course, although in my experience BBO employees and representatives have always been very polite.

Thanks for your feedback, and I hope you continue using GIB and sending helpful reports so we can make GIB even better for you.
Please let me know about any questions or interest or bug reports about GIB.
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