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I have noticed some weird outlier scores myself, and I don't think it's just those factors Xor.

The two battles of ags.Glacier 0.3.0 versus lxx.Emerald 0.6.5 that ran had an average APS of 26.04 for Glacier, yet when I ran those two bots manually on the same computer I had a rumble client on, I couldn't reproduce anything remotely that close to a score that low for Glacier, it was consistently >60 no matter how many times I ran it, usually >70. That's a massive discrepancy really, even with so few data points.

At the time the only rumble client besides my own on the same computer I couldn't reproduce an issue on, was "Xor_Sily". There's a chance it was just getting massively unlucky, but I'm rather curious what the result of manually running some ags.Glacier 0.3.0 versus lxx.Emerald 0.6.5 battles on the Xor_Sily computer would be.

Rednaxela (talk)18:35, 24 June 2021

If you are recording data, I can send you the files.

Anyway I’ve been long suffering outliner results, back to the days when optimizing SimpleBot. Score drop is huge after more battles sometimes (and Beaming is running rumble as well that days), and is yes not reproducible.

And that’s why Scalar series is called “scalar”. Because I’ve been optimizing performance exclusively since then, mainly leveraging Scalar Replacement to reduce GC overhead. And nowadays I’m suffering from outliner scores much less.

So yes, sometimes there is some outliner score. And the fact is either about some bugs, or GC overhead being too much (resulting a lot of skipped turns)

Xor (talk)19:15, 24 June 2021

I'm not recording any data at this time no.

GC overhead is one potential issue, but I would argue that if rumble clients are causing massive skipped turns due to GC overhead, then the rumble client is likely badly configured, with something like too many rumble clients running concurrently for the number of CPU cores.

Java runs GC taking advantage of an additional thread generally, and it's normal for GC overhead to be significant for many bots, to the degree where I would argue that a rumble client should always be allocated two unused CPU cores, one for the main thread and one for GC thread overhead.

Rednaxela (talk)19:20, 24 June 2021

Since rumble clients are uploading scores after a few battles, it’s really hard that every core is used already. Not to mention that modern CPUs are great at reordering instructions, making room for more threads. So that leaving 1 more core for idle is completely wasting time & money IMO.

Anyway if rumble clients are commonly experiencing GC overhead, it could be solved by forcing full GC to run before each round. And if you’re still producing too much garbage even between rounds, it’s totally fine to be punished by skipped turns.

Anyway, GC overhead is always fair. If you are dealing with GC and skipped turns worse than the opponents, you get worse score, it’s perfectly judged.

Xor (talk)19:35, 24 June 2021

I'm curious why you think GC overhead is always fair. Since GC overhead happens outside of the main thread, it can punish all robots in the same battle with a high degree of randomness. Not only that, if you're running a bunch of rumble clients on a computer, and the overall CPU usage on the system for all cores reaches 100% due to a couple clients having more GC overhead, then it could affect all bots in all active battles on that system, even in the other rumble clients.

Rednaxela (talk)19:57, 24 June 2021

Being fair means no one is getting advantage over it. And the ability to withstand ocationally skipped turns is part of the competition.

Since no one can guarantee that robots are always running with sufficent resource, I’m always on the side that robot authors should assume low performance computers.

Xor (talk)20:13, 24 June 2021

I think you are right. Clients should be allocated with one extra core for GC to be ran on background. Forcing full GC each round could also be added to rumble client.

And I think the extra core should be enforced by rumble clients

Anyway the optimal cpu ratio needs some experiments, but battles seems to run even faster when some cores are dedicated for GC.

Xor (talk)03:31, 29 June 2021

And I’m not sure whether rumble clients shall be restarted after many battles. If there were some memory leaks in robocode, performance will drop overtime, resulting APS drop in newer bots.

Xor (talk)03:34, 29 June 2021

It's not per-round so much as per-battle, but I will note that Robocode does make some System.gc calls at end of battle.

It's also the case for a very long time I've been in a habit of including System.gc() in the constructor of my bots, so that'd end up being per round.

Rednaxela (talk)07:15, 29 June 2021