Patents by Inventor Ralf Herbrich

Ralf Herbrich has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20100262568
    Abstract: A scalable clustering system is described. In an embodiment the clustering system is operable for extremely large scale applications where millions of items having tens of millions of features are clustered. In an embodiment the clustering system uses a probabilistic cluster model which models uncertainty in the data set where the data set may be for example, advertisements which are subscribed to keywords, text documents containing text keywords, images having associated features or other items. In an embodiment the clustering system is used to generate additional features for associating with a given item. For example, additional keywords are suggested which an advertiser may like to subscribe to. The additional features that are generated have associated probability values which may be used to rank those features in some embodiments. User feedback about the generated features is received and used to revise the feature generation process in some examples.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2009
    Publication date: October 14, 2010
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Anton Schwaighofer, Joaquin Quinonero Candela, Thomas Borchert, Thore Graepel, Ralf Herbrich
  • Patent number: 7713117
    Abstract: Scoring a board configuration for a territory board game is often not straightforward and yet there is a desire to determine such scores quickly and accurately. For example, in the game of GO, determining the score at the end of the game involves assessing whether stones on the board are alive or dead which is a difficult judgment. Given a board configuration, the game is played by a scoring system to obtain a terminal board configuration. This is repeated to obtain a plurality of terminal board configurations from which an assessment can be made as to how likely each board position is to be won by a particular player at the end of the game. The scoring system obtains the terminal board configurations by playing random moves or by making a biased sampling of moves. The biased sampling is made using an evaluation function or in any suitable way. In the game of GO, seki positions are quickly and easily identified.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2010
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K. H. Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, David Stern
  • Publication number: 20100100416
    Abstract: A recommender system may be used to predict a user behavior that a user will give in relation to an item. In an embodiment such predictions are used to enable items to be recommended to users. For example, products may be recommended to customers, potential friends may be recommended to users of a social networking tool, organizations may be recommended to automated users or other items may be recommended to users. In an embodiment a memory stores a data structure specifying a bi-linear collaborative filtering model of user behaviors. In the embodiment an automated inference process may be applied to the data structure in order to predict a user behavior given information about a user and information about an item. For example, the user information comprises user features as well as a unique user identifier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Publication date: April 22, 2010
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Thore Graepel, David Stern
  • Patent number: 7702482
    Abstract: Based on the time series data from multiple components, the systems administrator or other managing entity may desire to find the temporal dependencies between the different time series data over time. For example, based on actions indicated in time series data from two or more servers in a server network, a dependency structure may be determined which indicates a parent/child or dependent relationship between the two or more servers. In some cases, it may also be beneficial to predict the state of a child component, and/or predict the average time to a state change or event of a child component based on the parent time series data. These determinations and predications may reflect the logical connections between actions of components. The relationships and/or predictions may be expressed graphically and/or in terms of a probability distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2010
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K H Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, Shyansundar Rajaram
  • Patent number: 7647289
    Abstract: We describe an apparatus for learning to predict moves in games such as chess, Go and the like, from historical game records. We obtain a probability distribution over legal moves in a given board configuration. This enables us to provide an automated game playing system, a training tool for players and a move selector/sorter for input to a game tree search system. We use a pattern extraction system to select patterns from historical game records. Our learning algorithm learns a distribution over the values of a move given a board position based on local pattern context. In another embodiment we use an Independent Bernoulli model whereby we assume each moved is played independently of other available moves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 12, 2010
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K H Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, David Stern
  • Publication number: 20090227313
    Abstract: There is a desire to provide a way to determine relative skills of players of games such as computer games, chess, tennis and any other suitable type of game. Our earlier Bayesian Scoring system is implemented in Xbox Live (trade mark) and is currently commercially available under the trade name TrueSkill (trade mark). Here we build on our earlier work and use a new method of computation to enable processing times to be significantly reduced. Message passing techniques are adapted to enable computation of updated skill beliefs to be obtained quickly even in the case of multiple teams of multiple players.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2007
    Publication date: September 10, 2009
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas Minka, Thore Kh Graepel, Ralf Herbrich
  • Publication number: 20090225087
    Abstract: Improved human-like realism of computer opponents in racing or motion-related games is provided by using a mixture model to determine a dynamically prescribed racing line that the AI driver is to follow for a given segment of the race track. This dynamically prescribed racing line may vary from segment to segment and lap to lap, roughly following an ideal line with some variation. As such, the AI driver does not appear to statically follow the ideal line perfectly throughout the race. Instead, within each segment of the course, the AI driver's path may smoothly follow a probabilistically-determined racing line defined relative to at least one prescribed racing line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2009
    Publication date: September 10, 2009
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Mark Hatton, Michael E. Tipping
  • Patent number: 7525546
    Abstract: Improved human-like realism of computer opponents in racing or motion-related games is provided by using a mixture model to determine a dynamically prescribed racing line that the AI driver is to follow for a given segment of the race track. This dynamically prescribed racing line may vary from segment to segment and lap to lap, roughly following an ideal line with some variation. As such, the AI driver does not appear to statically follow the ideal line perfectly throughout the race. Instead, within each segment of the course, the AI driver's path may smoothly follow a probabilistically-determined racing line defined relative to at least one prescribed racing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Mark Hatton, Michael E Tipping
  • Publication number: 20090093287
    Abstract: A process for determining relative player skills and draw margins is described. Information about an outcome of a game between at least a first player opposing a second player is received. Also, for each player, skill statistics are received associated with a distribution representing belief about skill of that player. Draw margin statistics are received associated with a distribution representing belief about ability of that player to force a draw. An update process is performed to update the statistics on the basis of the received information about the game outcome. In an embodiment a Bayesian inference process is used during the update process which may take past and future player achievement into account.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Thore Graepel, Thomas Minka, Pierre Dangauthier
  • Publication number: 20090043593
    Abstract: There are many situations in which it is desired to predict outcomes of events. In an example, an event prediction system is described which receives variables for a proposed event. The system accesses learnt statistics describing belief about weights associated with the variables and uses the weights to determine probability information that the proposed event will have a specified outcome. The process involves combining the accessed statistics and mapping them into a number representing the probability. In another example, a machine learning process using assumed density filtering is used to learn the statistics from data about observed events. The event prediction system may be used as part of any suitable type of system such as an internet advertising system, an email filtering system, or a fraud detection system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2007
    Publication date: February 12, 2009
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Thore Graepel, Onno Zoeter, Joaquin Quinonero Candela, Phillip Trelford
  • Publication number: 20080242420
    Abstract: Matchmaking processes at online game services often result in players having to wait unacceptably long times to receive a match or immediately receiving a poorly matched session. By using a matchmaking process which dynamically adapts a good balance is achieved between the quality of proposed matches (for example, in terms of how balanced, interesting and fun those matches are likely to be) and the waiting time for potential matches. A matchmaking threshold is specified. When a player seeks a match a waiting time is observed, for example, as to how long that player waits until starting a game or dropping out. Information about such waiting times is used to dynamically update the matchmaking threshold. The update is made on the basis of a relationship between information about the observed waiting time and a target waiting time. Further control may be achieved by using separate matchmaking thresholds and target waiting times for different game categories.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Publication date: October 2, 2008
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, David Shaw
  • Publication number: 20080129874
    Abstract: Improved human-like realism of computer opponents in racing or motion-related games is provided by using a mixture model to determine a dynamically prescribed racing line that the AI driver is to follow for a given segment of the race track. This dynamically prescribed racing line may vary from segment to segment and lap to lap, roughly following an ideal line with some variation. As such, the AI driver does not appear to statically follow the ideal line perfectly throughout the race. Instead, within each segment of the course, the AI driver's path may smoothly follow a probabilistically-determined racing line defined relative to at least one prescribed racing line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 8, 2008
    Publication date: June 5, 2008
    Applicant: MICROSOFT CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Mark Hatton, Michael E. Tipping
  • Patent number: 7376474
    Abstract: Players in a gaming environment, particularly, electronic on-line gaming environments, may be scored relative to each other or to a predetermined scoring system. The scoring of each player may be based on the outcomes of games between players who compete against each other in one or more teams of one or more players. Each player's score may be represented as a distribution over potential scores which may indicate a confidence level in the distribution representing the player's score. The score distribution for each player may be modeled with a Gaussian distribution and may be determined through a Bayesian inference algorithm. The scoring may be used to track a player's progress and/or standing within the gaming environment, used in a leaderboard indication of rank, and/or may be used to match players with each other in a future game.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K H Graepel, Ralf Herbrich
  • Patent number: 7358973
    Abstract: Improved human-like realism of computer opponents in racing or motion-related games is provided by using a mixture model to determine a dynamically prescribed racing line that the AI driver is to follow for a given segment of the race track. This dynamically prescribed racing line may vary from segment to segment and lap to lap, roughly following an ideal line with some variation. As such, the AI driver does not appear to statically follow the ideal line perfectly throughout the race. Instead, within each segment of the course, the AI driver's path may smoothly follow a probabilistically-determined racing line defined relative to at least one prescribed racing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2008
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Mark Hatton, Michael E. Tipping
  • Publication number: 20080027570
    Abstract: Scoring a board configuration for a territory board game is often not straightforward and yet there is a desire to determine such scores quickly and accurately. For example, in the game of GO, determining the score at the end of the game involves assessing whether stones on the board are alive or dead which is a difficult judgment. Given a board configuration, the game is played by a scoring system to obtain a terminal board configuration. This is repeated to obtain a plurality of terminal board configurations from which an assessment can be made as to how likely each board position is to be won by a particular player at the end of the game. The scoring system obtains the terminal board configurations by playing random moves or by making a biased sampling of moves. The biased sampling is made using an evaluation function or in any suitable way. In the game of GO, seki positions are quickly and easily identified.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2006
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K.H. Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, David Stern
  • Publication number: 20080004096
    Abstract: We describe an apparatus for learning to predict moves in games such as chess, Go and the like, from historical game records. We obtain a probability distribution over legal moves in a given board configuration. This enables us to provide an automated game playing system, a training tool for players and a move selector/sorter for input to a game tree search system. We use a pattern extraction system to select patterns from historical game records. Our learning algorithm learns a distribution over the values of a move given a board position based on local pattern context. In another embodiment we use an Independent Bernoulli model whereby we assume each moved is played independently of other available moves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Publication date: January 3, 2008
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore K. H. Graepel, Ralf Herbrich, David Stern
  • Publication number: 20070265718
    Abstract: Players in a gaming environment, particularly, electronic on-line gaming environments, may be scored relative to each other or to a predetermined scoring system. The scoring of each player may be based on the outcomes of games between players who compete against each other in one or more teams of one or more players. Each player's score may be represented as a distribution over potential scores which may indicate a confidence level in the distribution representing the player's score. The score distribution for each player may be modeled with a Gaussian distribution and may be determined through a Bayesian inference algorithm. The scoring may be used to track a player's progress and/or standing within the gaming environment, used in a leaderboard indication of rank, and/or may be used to match players with each other in a future game.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2006
    Publication date: November 15, 2007
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Thore Graepel, Ralf Herbrich
  • Patent number: 7260560
    Abstract: In a virtual reality environment, the behavior of the computer-controlled virtual vehicle may be made more human-like by increasing the AI driver's reaction time to environmental stimuli, such as physical stimuli (e.g., detecting a loss of tire traction, audio warning signals, smoke, virtual fatigue, weather changes, etc.) or “visual” stimuli (e.g., virtual visual detection by the computer driver of a turn or obstacle in its path, ambient lighting differences, etc.). Reaction time may be increased by introducing a delay in receipt of stimuli by the artificial intelligence motion control system, by introducing a delay in receipt of control signals by the physics engine, or by modifying the control signal to degrade their accuracy in approximating a prescribed racing line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2007
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Michael E. Tipping, Mark Hatton
  • Publication number: 20070192169
    Abstract: Reputation systems have been used to promote trust between participants in activities including online activities such as online market places. Existing online market places provide a reputation system which is a simple cumulative registry of user ratings on a given market place member. However, this simple system is open to abuse in situations where, for example, many positive ratings are given in a fraudulent manner. By modeling both reputation of participants and required reputation of participants an improved reputation system is provided. The required reputation may be thought of as a threshold, referred to herein as a required threshold, which may be used in determining how to update an indication of the reputation of a participant in the activity. The reputation system is able to learn information about required reputation and reputation of participants using an update process which is robust to participants who consistently give feedback of a particular type.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Publication date: August 16, 2007
    Applicant: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Thore Graepel, David Shaw
  • Patent number: 7246103
    Abstract: Improved human-like realism of computer opponents in racing or motion-related games is provided. The computer driver may be “distracted” by various characteristics, such as nervousness caused by another competitor closing the gap behind a computer driver. The distraction effects may be reflected in the alteration of stimuli to represent the computer driver “missing” stimuli, as though the AI competitor has taken its virtual eyes away from the course in front of its vehicle for an extended time period in order to watch the racing vehicle behind it. In addition, some distractions may be caused by different directional stimuli. When it is determined that an AI driver has glanced into the rear view mirror, visual stimuli from in front of the vehicle may be skipped because a human driver would not be able to simultaneously process visual stimuli from both the front of the vehicle and the rear view mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2007
    Assignee: Microsoft Corporation
    Inventors: Ralf Herbrich, Michael E. Tipping, Mark Hatton