Benson's algorithm (Go)
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In the game Go, Benson's algorithm (named after David B. Benson) can be used to determine the stones which are safe from capture no matter how many turns in a row the opposing player gets, i.e. unconditionally alive.
Without loss of generality, we describe Benson's algorithm for the Black player.
Let X be the set of all Black chains and R be the set of all Black-enclosed regions of X. Then Benson's algorithm requires iteratively applying the following two steps until neither is able to remove any more chains or regions:
- Remove from X all Black chains with less than two vital Black-enclosed regions in R, where a Black-enclosed region is vital to a Black chain in X if all its empty intersections are also liberties of the chain.
- Remove from R all Black-enclosed regions with a surrounding stone in a chain not in X.
The final set X is the set of all unconditionally alive Black chains.
- Tapani Raiko (May 5, 2005). "Benson's algorithm". Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- "Sensei's Library: Benson's Definition of Unconditional Life". Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- David B. Benson (1976). "Life in the game of Go" (pdf). Information Sciences (Elsevier) 10 (2): 17–29. Retrieved March 21, 2012.