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1 ACM Programming Contest Nov 3, 2007

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2 Introduction ACM organized such contests from1977 Contest Regional Qualifying Final Purpose provides college students with the opportunity to demonstrate and sharpen their programming skills

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3 Introduction The contest 3 persons +1 computer 5 hours Input: a set of problems Output: Programs (in C, C++, Java etc) Communication: In team With officials Nobody else

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4 Process When you have solution, runner will send it to judge Judge will run it under blink test data It produces correct output, then it is correct Otherwise (wrong output, wrong format, compile error, runtime error), incorrect The result will be sent back to team in timely manner Team may resubmit the solution

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5 Score the number of problems correctly solved the time from the beginning of the contest to the submission of a correct solution for each problem the number of incorrect submissions to a problem for which a correct solution is eventually submitted

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6 Score First, teams are ranked in order of the number of correct solutions When two or more teams have the same number of correct solutions, they are further ranked by penalty minutes computed as the sum of for each solved problem, the number of minutes from the beginning of the contest until the correct solution was submitted for each solved problem, 20 minutes for each incorrect solution submitted before the correct solution

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7 The questions Draw from high school and college mathematics and computing As well as everyday knowledge and problem solving

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8 Strategy Good teamwork is essential Only one PC is available Your individual skills are as honed as possible Knowledge Standard algorithms and the ability to find an appropriate algorithm for every problem in the set; Ability to code an algorithm into a working program; Having a strategy of cooperation with your teammates.

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9 Strategy Five main categories of problems Search problems These involve checking a large number of situations in order to find the best way in which something can be done Graph problems The problems have a special structure so they can be represented as a graph-theoretical problem for which standard algorithms are available

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10 Strategy Five main categories of problems Geometrical problems These involve geometrical shapes, lines, and angles Trivial problems The choice of appropriate algorithm is clear, but these usually take quite a long time to program carefully Non-standard problems

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11 Team Strategy There is only one computer So it has to be shared The problems have to be distributed in some way Specialization'' is a good way of using the inherent synergy If each team member is an expert for a certain category of problem

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12 Team Strategy Maybe one of the team is a great programmer but has poor analytical skills, Combining these skills will lead to bug-free solutions for difficult problems Another way to use synergy is to have two people analyze the problem set

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13 Team Strategy Most efficient way to write a program is to write it alone avoid communication overhead and the confusion caused by differing programming styles Other considerations

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14 Next Week 3:30pm Room NW204 Actual programming questions, strategy and solutions are on the websites: http://people.auc.ca/xu/ProgrammingContest.ht ml http://acm.ashland.edu/2005/problem-set.html

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