<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Skip Navigation
Our Terms of Use (click here to view) have changed. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our new Terms of Use.

Tree Diagrams

Multiply probabilities along the branches and add probabilities in columns

Atoms Practice
Estimated6 minsto complete
Practice Tree Diagrams
This indicates how strong in your memory this concept is
Estimated6 minsto complete
Practice Now
Turn In

Credit: Stefan Powell
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duchamp/9844794/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Have you ever played chess? Have you ever played chess against a computer? When you play against a person, you and your opponent think through each move with the hope of winning the game. How does this work with a computer? Is the computer "thinking" through each move?

Why It Matters

The computer can't think, but it can look for patterns and count outcomes. That is how a computer plays chess. The computer records the possible moves for each chess piece. Then when you move, the computer registers your move and calculates which move it should make.

Credit: Laura Guerin
Source: CK-12 Foundation
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The tree diagram above shows how the computer counts and records all of the possible moves for each player. The tree diagram shows the outcomes. When you move your pawn or your bishop, the computer tracks your move, compares it with the outcomes for winning and moves its piece next.

It is difficult for people to figure out how to beat a computer because of all of the possibilities for future moves. But even the computer can't hold all possible future moves in its memory. The computer looks for patterns of outcomes for the next 10 or 15 moves and then plays accordingly. Can you imagine if you could hold 10 future moves in your head?

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74xHd4AyyFc

Explore More

Read the article at the first link below for more on how computers play chess. Then try your own hand at playing chess against a computer opponent!



Notes/Highlights Having trouble? Report an issue.

Color Highlighted Text Notes
Please to create your own Highlights / Notes
Show More

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Stefan Powell; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duchamp/9844794/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Laura Guerin; Source: CK-12 Foundation; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Explore More

Sign in to explore more, including practice questions and solutions for Tree Diagrams.
Please wait...
Please wait...