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the programming contest continues

We're beginning another day of competition in the programming contest. Out of 281 teams on the scoreboard (you have to implement the virtual machine correctly before you even have a chance to get on the scoreboard), we're currently in 66th place. For those of you watching at home, we're 'the code alchemists'. We all like this year's scoring system where solving various puzzles gets you incremental points that are then reflected almost real-time on the scoreboard, rather than last year's system where you had no idea how you or other teams were faring, relatively speaking, until the results came out months after the contest.

I'm going to continue working on a plinko (like パチンコ) game where you have to come up with plinko boards that make the marbles come out in certain ways. Brute force generation of all possible plinko boards followed by matching their outcomes with the one you want works only for very small boards. My challenge is to do this for large boards, creating some intelligence that looks for 'better' boards first. I'm creating a grid one row at a time from the top down, choosing some row permutation each time that appears to get the marbles closer to their goal state. If I were smarter, maybe I could come up with a way to work up from the bottom of the grid instead of down from the top.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
pwinkler
Jul. 23rd, 2006 09:02 pm (UTC)
Aren't there supposed to be small and large teams? Is there a way to differentiate them?

Overall, it sounds like a fun contest. Keep up the good work! :)
radhardened
Jul. 23rd, 2006 11:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, there are supposed to be large and small teams. I wish the scoreboard showed the number of members in each team or at least each team's large/small classification.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )