ML/Google Distinguished Lecture Series-Machine Learning Department - Carnegie Mellon University

Machine Learning Special Seminars

Spring 2017 Seminar
Date: April 25, 2017
Time: 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: 6115 Gates and Hillman Centers
Speaker: Tuomas Sandholm
Title: Super-Human AI for Strategic Reasoning: Beating Top Pros in Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em
Abstract: Poker has been a challenge problem in AI and game theory for decades. As a game of imperfect information it involves obstacles not present in games like chess and go, and requires totally different techniques. No program had been able to beat top players in large poker games. Until now! In January 2017, our AI, Libratus, beat a team of four top specialist pros in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em, which has over 10^160 decision points. Libratus is powered by new algorithms in each of its three modules: 1) computing approximate Nash equilibrium strategies before the event, 2) endgame solving during play, and 3) fixing its own strategy to play even closer to equilibrium based on what holes the opponents have been able to identify and exploit. The algorithms are domain-independent and have applicability to a variety of imperfect-information games such as negotiation, business strategy, cybersecurity, auctions, strategic pricing, finance, and steering biological adaptation and evolution for medical treatment planning. This is joint work with my PhD student Noam Brown.
Speaker Bio: Tuomas Sandholm is Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Computer Science Department, with affiliate professor appointments in the Machine Learning Department, Ph.D. Program in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO), and CMU/UPitt Joint Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology. He is the Founder and Director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. He has published over 450 papers. He is Founder and CEO of Optimized Markets, Inc., which is bringing a new expressive optimization-powered paradigm to advertising campaign sales and scheduling—in TV (linear and digital), streaming, Internet display, mobile, game, radio, and cross-media advertising. He is also Founder and CEO of Strategic Machine, Inc., which provides solutions for strategic reasoning under imperfect information. He was Founder, Chairman, and CTO/Chief Scientist of CombineNet, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition in 2010. During this period the company commercialized over 800 of the world's largest-scale generalized combinatorial multi-attribute auctions, with over $60 billion in total spend and over $6 billion in generated savings. His algorithms also run the UNOS kidney exchange, which includes 66% of the transplant centers in the US. He has served as market design consultant or board member for Baidu, Yahoo!, Google, Chicago Board Options Exchange,, Rare Crowds, Granata Decision Systems, and others. He has developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of game, and his group’s AIs are the current two-time world champions in computer Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em. He holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in computer science and a Dipl. Eng. (M.S. with B.S. included) with distinction in Industrial Engineering and Management Science. Among his many honors are the NSF Career Award, inaugural ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award, Sloan Fellowship, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence, Edelman Laureateship, and Computers and Thought Award. He is Fellow of the ACM, AAAI, and INFORMS. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.