ICFPC 2010 *cough* results *cough*

Posted on 21 Jun 2010 11:11

OK, guys — without telling me anything, my other self decided to take part in ICFPC 2010 =) And it did — forming a spontaneous team with two of my friends.

First of all — the task was great. We weren't prepared for what ICFPC threw at us, but managed to do at least something none the less =)

We solved the very first part — synthesizing the circuit that produces «The Key» prefix on the server, but after that we couldn't crack the car ternary encoding in time. About 1700 GMT+4 server became really slow — my guess is that several teams successfully managed to create automatic car generators and/or car fuel solvers and let them loose to reap the score points =) And with an unresponsive server we couldn't test our assumptions about ternary encodings.

Yes, we only got in the top 200 (hooray!), but for an ad hoc team IMHO that is a result of itself. And — yes, we didn't give it our best, we're not the best, etc. But we participated — and we scored! =)

I can't but mention my teammates — zakh and sergeif. Gate Bruteforcer in Haskell written by sergeif immensely helped us in cracking the circuits. And Circuit Simulator — Java and zakh this time — served as a basis for Circuit Mutator by yours truly which got us «The Key» circuit from example 19L in under 20 minutes (yup, guess we just got lucky). Anyway — thanks a lot, guys, it was a hell lot of fun =)

Some mistakes we made (due to ad hoc team and stuff):

  • Try to get together — team communication when you're in the same room is ten times more efficient!
  • Create query utility tools for communicating with the ICFPC server — using browser is too painfully slow…
  • Do try to brute force your way out of this =) You can think all you want about optimizing your code and such AFTER you launch something simple and dirty — it may get you results faster than you think!

All in all, I really enjoyed ICFPC 2010. I think I'll wait for ICFPC 2011. And this time I'm gonna be ready for it =)

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