Codenames as a Game of Co-occurrence Counting

Codenames is a popular board game, in which knowledge and cooperation between players play an important role. The task of a player playing as a spymaster is to find words (clues) that a teammate finds related to as many of some given words as possible, but not to other specified words. This is a hard challenge even with today’s advanced language technology methods.In our study, we create spymaster agents using four types of relatedness measures that require only a raw text corpus to produce. These include newly introduced ones based on co-occurrences, which outperform FastText cosine similarity on gold standard relatedness data. To generate clues in Codenames, we combine relatedness measures with four different scoring functions, for two languages, English and Hungarian. For testing, we collect decisions of human guesser players in an online game, and our configurations outperform previous agents among methods using raw corpora only.

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