Game uses fun as incentive to solve hard chip-design problems

A new game prototype called FunSAT from University of Michigan computer scientists Valeria Bertacco and Andrew DeOrio marries human intuition to computerized chip design to solve problems that computers are bad at by making it fun for humans to help them:

By solving challenging problems on the FunSAT board, players can contribute to the design of complex computer systems, but you don't have to be a computer scientist to play. The game is a sort of puzzle that might appeal to Sudoku fans.

The board consists of rows and columns of green, red and gray bubbles in various sizes. Around the perimeter are buttons that players can turn yellow or blue with the click of a mouse. The buttons' color determines the color of bubbles on the board. The goal of the game is to use the perimeter buttons to toggle all the bubbles green…

The game actually unravels so-called satisfiability problems–classic and highly complicated mathematical questions that involve selecting the best arrangement of options. In such quandaries, the solver must assign a set of variables to the right true or false categories so to fulfill all the constraints of the problem.

In the game, the bubbles represent constraints. They become green when they are satisfied. The perimeter buttons represent the variables. They are assigned to true or false when players click the mouse to make them yellow (true) or blue (false).

Once the puzzle is solved and all the bubbles are green, a computer scientist could simply look at the color of each button to gather the solution of that particular problem.

Game Utilizes Human Intuition To Help Computers Solve Complex Problems

FunSAT: Human Computing for EDA