Minesweeper Agent

Minesweeper Agent is an AI project which tries to solve Minesweeper boards. It implements much of the content on this page.

Blog posts relating to this project can be found here, here, and here.


This was originally a project for my Artificial Opponents class: a course where we’d try to create AI for multiple different games (such as gin rummy). The structure of the project was broken down into the game, and a DLL containing our AI. The game was written by the professor, and it called methods through the DLL at regular intervals. For Minesweeper, this was when we needed to pick a tile. At that point, our AI would return a tile index to choose, and the game would go back and execute the relevant logic.


AI Brain

I created an AI ‘brain’ which would keep track of what tiles are revealed/hidden, and find tiles that are safe based on the number of mines at a given revealed index and how many unrevealed adjacent tiles there were:

Tile MineBrain::FindSafeTile()
  //update our knowledge of what's revealed/unrevealed
  revealed   = GetAllRevealedTiles();
  unrevealed = GetAllUnrevealedTiles();

  for (Tile atIndex : revealed)
    //check to see the number of flagged tiles vs the number of bombs

    //if we found all of the bombs in the level, add all unrevealed, unflagged tiles to the safe list
    if (bombs.size() == numberOfMines) return AddRestToSafe();

  //find the safest tile to click
  return CheckAllRevealedProbabilities();


void MineBrain::CheckTileForMines(Tile index)
  //get the number of bombs at the give tile
  Number minesAtIndex = board->getNumAdjacentMines(index);

  //if there's no bombs, exit early
  if (minesAtIndex == 0) return;

  //get the adjacent tiles
  std::vector<Tile> adjacentTiles = GetUnrevealedAdjacencies(index);

  //if the number of adjacent tiles is equal to the number of mines...
  if (adjacentTiles.size() == minesAtIndex)
    //flag all of the adjacent tiles (if they're not already flagged)
    for (Tile index : adjacentTiles)
      if (std::find(bombs.begin(), bombs.end(), index) == bombs.end()) bombs.push_back(index);

These safe tiles would then be added to a list to be pulled from when the game asks us to return a tile to pick.


Retrospection and Postmortem

There was one pattern that I wasn’t able to implement: the 1-2 pattern (and it’s sister, the 1-2-1). These patterns take into account multiple tiles in multiple orientations to deduce whether an unrevealed tile is safe or a bomb. Other than that, I think my AI was well organized, and performed well in the class competition (see this blog post for the results of that).

Also, throughout the iteration of this project, I ran tests to see the general aptitude of my AI, and I’m happy to report that as I changed weightings of certain algorithms and added more safety checks for determining bomb tiles, it saw a marked improvement:

From the first generation of the 'brain' to the last.