Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Back from the contest...

Yeah....just back from the contest. It was a programming contest. Scheduled from 9am to 9pm. Yes 12 hours. Just one question. Our programming efficiency, techniques, style, documentation, approach and design (not in any order) would be evaluated. We were supposed to report at the centre at 8:30am. It is conducted by a Company, so the way it is organised is pretty good. Typical IIITians that we were, we arrived at the centre at 9. We actually got confused and first went to another office of theirs, which was in the same area, then we were redirected to the actual venue where the contest was being held. Reading the problem and understanding it, and a doubts clarification session went on till 10. Then the three of us actually started discussing the algorithm that we need to apply. We concluded that it would need a Dijkstra with a slight modification for the cost. Actually more than a slight modification, i guess. Anyways, it did look surprising that they gave just this one problem for whole 12 hours. We had the thrice ACM-returned Jagan in our team. So he implemented the Heap quite quickly, by which time, the rest two of us finalised on the final algorithm. They gave us Windows to work on. That was a major difficulty. Though to make the task easier, they did give the unix simulator cygwin. So, the code was compilation error free by 12:30. And it worked at the first attempt!!! Ofcourse we already checked the heap. But i thought that we would atleast make a few logical errors. But i guess, three people looking at the same screen parallelly minimises that probability. Then we started testing with a few more cases. Verifying the output is slightly painstaking. We did not find any error. So then we modularised it and ate our lunch. Removed the unnnecessary part, commented and wrote the required documentation. Meanwhile, the volunteers came to know that we seemed to have finished it, well within half the given time. so many of them used to come and see the output etc. Everything seemed to have been over by 3. I guess we could have written more about our approach and design whatever, but we limited it to what was essential. Jagan was already getting ready to leave. So we left at 3:30, though the contest is suppposed to end at 9pm.
The result will be known tomorrow i guess. I hope we win. I cant find any problem with the code. But the problem seems so simple, that many teams would be able to solve it i guess. But then, what would be their selection criteria. I just hope we win........ Atleast we were the first to complete it.
Well.....though i didnt contribute much, i seem to be very tired. Back to bed.