Wordle is popular these days. Let's teach the computer how to play.
As usual, I'm using the
series library. Also, if you are coding along, there's a function or two I omitted that you'll have to write yourself. Note that I use a
To play Wordle, you try to deduce the secret word by making guesses. After each guess, you are told which letters you got exactly right and which are right, but in the wrong position. Each guess narrows down the number of possible answers until there is one left. It's a simple matter of making good guesses.
Here I define a word as a simple string of five characters and a predicate for testing that the word is all lowercase, alphabetic, ascii characters.
(deftype word () `(simple-string 5)) (defun valid-word? (thing) (and (typep thing 'word) (str:downcase? thing) (every #'alpha-char-p thing) (every #'str:ascii-char-p thing)))
I don't use a
satisfies clause in
satisfies can cause issues
with optimization and performance because it is can be hard to
control where the compiler inserts type checks. I just manually call
To read a word file, we read each line in the file, trim it, and select only the valid words. This works on the canonical word files, but you can read words from the system dictionary or other places if you want.
(defun read-word-file (pathname) (collect 'bag (choose-if #'valid-word? (map-fn 'string #'str:trim (scan-file pathname #'read-line))))) (defparameter +word-file+ "~/wordle/words.txt") (defparameter +answer-file+ "~/wordle/answers.txt") (defparameter +all-words+ (read-word-file +word-file+)) (defparameter +all-answers+ (read-word-file +all-answers+))
We need to score a guess. When you make a guess, the squares under
the letters turn green if the letter is correct, yellow if the
letter is incorrect, but appears in the answer, and gray if the
letter does not appear in the answer. We'll just return a list of
the colors (as keywords). For example,
"relay") => (:green :green :yellow :gray :gray)
score-guess first needs a list of the letters in the
answer that don't match the guess:
(let ((sg (scan 'string guess)) (sa (scan 'string answer))) (collect 'bag (choose (map-fn 'boolean #'char/= sg sa) sa)))then we walk the guess. If the guess character equals the answer character, we cons a
:greenon to the score. If the guess character is a member of the unmatched answer characters, we cons a
:yellowon to the score and delete that character from the unmatched characters. Otherwise, we cons a
:grayon to the score.
(defun score-guess (guess answer) (declare (type word guess answer)) (let walk ((index 0) (score '()) (unmatched-chars (let ((sg (scan 'string guess)) (sa (scan 'string answer))) (collect 'bag (choose (map-fn 'boolean #'char/= sg sa) sa))))) (if (>= index 5) (nreverse score) (let ((guess-char (schar guess index))) (cond ((char= guess-char (schar answer index)) (walk (1+ index) (cons :green score) unmatched-chars)) ((member guess-char unmatched-chars) (walk (1+ index) (cons :yellow score) (delete guess-char unmatched-chars))) (t (walk (1+ index) (cons :gray score) unmatched-chars)))))))
Once we've made a guess and have a score, we'll want to narrow down the possible words. We just go over the word list and keep the words that have a matching score.
(defun prune-words (guess score words) (declare (optimizable-series-function) (off-line-port words)) (choose-if (lambda (word) (equal (score-guess guess word) score)) words))
We'll need a strategy for picking a word to guess. Here's an easy, naive one to start with: if there is only one possible word left, guess that one, otherwise guess a completely random word and narrow down the possibility list.
(defun strategy/random-word (possibilities) (if (= (length possibilities) 1) (car possibilities) (random-word +all-words+)))
So let's imagine the top level. The
will play a single round of Wordle. We'll be keeping track of the
possible words as we go. We choose a guess based on our strategy,
then score the guess. If we got the right answer, we're done, but
otherwise we narrow down the list of possibilites to those that have
the same score and play the next round.
(defun play (strategy &optional (round 1) (possibilities +all-answers+) (secret-word (random-word +all-answers+))) (let* ((guess (funcall strategy possibilities)) (score (score-guess guess secret-word))) (format t "~&~d guessing ~s ~s ..." round guess score) (if (equal score '(:green :green :green :green :green)) (progn (format t "correct.") round) (let ((new-possibilities (collect 'bag (prune-words guess score (scan 'list possibilities))))) (format t "narrowed to ~d possibilities." (length new-possibilities)) (play strategy (+ round 1) new-possibilities secret-word))))) WORDLE> (play #'strategy/random-word) 1 guessing "culty" (:GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 519 possibilities. 2 guessing "hings" (:GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 101 possibilities. 3 guessing "india" (:GRAY :GRAY :YELLOW :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 9 possibilities. 4 guessing "lauds" (:GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :YELLOW :GRAY) ...narrowed to 8 possibilities. 5 guessing "stedd" (:GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GREEN) ...narrowed to 2 possibilities. 6 guessing "khets" (:GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 2 possibilities. 7 guessing "bared" (:GREEN :GRAY :YELLOW :GRAY :GREEN) ...narrowed to 1 possibilities. 8 guessing "brood" (:GREEN :GREEN :GREEN :GREEN :GREEN) ...correct. 8
It plays Wordle. Not very well, but it plays. This strategy seems to average a bit more than seven guesses a game. A better strategy should reduce this average.
When you guess a word, you divide the space of possible answers
into a set of equivalence classes by score. I picture these as a
set of bins, each labeled with a different score, like
:gray :gray :yellow :gray). Making a guess divides the
list of possible words among the bins. A bad guess will only use a
few bins and have uneven bins. A good guess will use a
larger set of bins and divide things more evenly.
We'll need a function to collect the counts of an item in a series
(defun collect-counts (test items) (declare (optimizable-series-function)) (collect-fn t (lambda () (make-hash-table :test test)) (lambda (table item) (incf (gethash item table 0)) table) items))So now we go through a series of words, score the guess against each one, and count how many times we get each score.
(defun partition-words (guess words) (declare (optimizable-series-function)) (collect-counts 'equal (map-fn 'list #'score-guess (series guess) words)))This returns a hash table that maps scores to the number of words matching that score. We need to measure how good a job this table does at narrowing down the word list.
We'll need a couple of helpers:
(defun weighted-sum (weights elements) (declare (optimizable-series-function)) (collect-sum (map-fn 'real #'* weights elements))) (defun scan-hash-values (hash-table) (declare (optimizable-series-function)) (multiple-value-bind (keys values) (scan-hash hash-table) (declare (ignore keys)) values))
Now we have to decide how to evaluate how well a partition (set of bins) narrows down possible word list. Suppose our word list originally had 128 words. That's 27 items, so it would take seven binary splits to single out a word. Now suppose after narrowing, we find we're down to 16 words. That's 24 items, so the narrowing is equivalent to three binary splits. The value of an entire set of bins is the weighted average of the narrowing of each bin.
(defun evaluate-partition1 (partition) (let* ((original-size (collect-sum (scan-hash-values partition))) (original-bits (log2 original-size))) (flet ((info-gain (bin-size) (- original-bits (log2 bin-size))) (weight (bin-size) (/ (coerce bin-size 'double-float) (coerce original-size 'double-float)))) (let ((bin-sizes (scan-hash-values partition))) (weighted-sum (map-fn 'real #'weight bin-sizes) (map-fn 'real #'info-gain bin-sizes)))))) (defun evaluate-guess (guess possibilities) (evaluate-partition (partition-words guess (scan 'list possibilities)))) (defun best-guess (guesses possibilities) (best #'> guesses :key (lambda (guess) (evaluate-guess guess possibilities)))) WORDLE> (play #'strategy/best-word) 1 guessing "soare" (:GRAY :GREEN :GRAY :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 87 possibilities. 2 guessing "culty" (:GRAY :GRAY :YELLOW :GRAY :GRAY) ...narrowed to 1 possibilities. 3 guessing "login" (:GREEN :GREEN :GREEN :GREEN :GREEN) ...correct. 3
With this strategy, we seem to average about 3.5 guess per game. This is much better than the tad over 7 we had before.