The Matching Pennies Prize
The Matching Pennies Prize
This site offers a prize for
The prize will be known as The Matching Pennies Prize.
We plan to offer the prize on a regular basis in the future.
In addition to the tournament rules, those entering the prize should:
- Open source - To be eligible for the prize, programs must
be under an
OSI-approved open source license, or - preferably - in the public
- Email - Participants must have a reasonable level of
access to email - so they can make submissions, and be notified of the
- PayPal - Participants must consent to being paid via
PayPal - in the event that they win. Payments can be made in other ways -
but if no arrangement can be made, PayPal must be acceptable;
- If a house robot wins - the prize will be awarded
to the next-best external competitor;
- No nepotism - The tournament organisers, their agents
and their family, may not enter the prize contest;
- Complaints - The judge's decision about who gets the
prize is final.
If you are not writing in Java, you will need to make sure that the
organisers have the ability to compile and/or execute your code - in order to
verifiably fulfill the "open source" requirement.
Binary submissions of compiled code in any language will not be
eligible to compete for the prize. If you are using an unusual environment,
you might want to contact the tournament organisers early on - to help ensure
that you are able to meet this requirement.
The prize money may - at the discretion of the tournament
organisers - be split among the entrants, under the following constraints:
If awarded, these other prizes are likely to be heavily
influenced by tournament rank - but we may consider other factors - such
as innovation, code readability, differences from other entries, etc.
- The first prize will not be less than 50% of the total prize money;
- The first prize will go to the top-scoring competitor in the tournament;
- No more than two other prizes may be awarded;
A single team could potentially win more than one prize - by
making multiple entries.
Note that obfuscation (and program compaction) are considered to be
against the spirit of the prize. Obfuscation is not forbidden by the
rules - and won't prevent a program winning first prize - but it
might prevent people from winning the runner-up prizes.
Participants may want to announce their participation in the prize - for
example, to help put off other candidates. If they want to publicly
contribute any of the less-successful agents they have, that
might help to put other candidates off as well.
Participants can submit entries at any time. They won't be made public
until the prize is awarded.
The tournament organisers will not enter into correspondence about
There is not too much point in submitting entrants that do not score pretty
highly - compared to the supplied house robots.
Some people are interested in helping develop intelligent machines - but
not all of those people have the skills required to contribute
This site is intended to allow philanthropists to fund programmers
interested in working on what appears to be a keystone problem -
The fact that the resulting code goes into the public domain is intended
to help ensure that humans benefit relatively equally from any resulting
progress - rather than the benefits accruing mainly to a
For more details about the motivation for the project, see the
introduction to the site.
The 2011 prize fund currently stands at 200 US dollars.
Entrants for the 2011 prize will be accepted until midnight on the 31st
The prize will be awarded before the end of 2011.
You can donate to the prize fund using PayPal here:
You can also
donate to the prize fund through SourceForge.
If you want to donate non-anonymously, then please remember tell us your
name, handle or identifier in the notes of the donation.
Donations will be added to the current prize - or to the next
one - at the discretion of the tournament organisers.
Donation amounts in excess of 5 dollars will be listed with dates, and
identifiers (if supplied) on this site - so donors can verify their
donations have been received. There may be some delay before donations
are listed, though.
The 2011 prize was won by Russell Wallace. Congratulations to Russell!
Tim Tyler |