TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Mar 93 Challenge
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Programmers’ Challenge

Programmers’ Challenge

By Mike Scanlin, MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

Count Unique Words

Most word processors these days have a Count Words command. The quality in terms of accuracy and speed of these commands varies quite a bit. I tested three leading word processors with a document containing 124,829 characters and got three different answers ranging from 18446 words to 18886 words and times ranging from 4 seconds to 11 seconds. I’m not sure what the correct answer was for that document; it depends on how you define what a word is.

For purposes of this month’s challenge, a word is defined as an unbroken set of one or more letters. The input text will only contain upper and lower case letters a to z, spaces, carriage returns, periods and commas (for a total of 56 possible byte values). No digits, hyphens, tabs, other punctuation, etc. Since counting words using this simplified definition is rather trivial, you’re going to count the number of unique words instead.

The prototype of the function you write is:

unsigned short CountUniqueWords(textPtr, byteCount)
PtrtextPtr;
unsigned short byteCount;

Your function should return the number of unique words (case insensitive) in the input text. The maximum word length for individual words in the input text is 255 characters.

This is my 7th programmer’s challenge that I’ve posed to MacTech readers. I have received approximately very little feedback as to what you think of these challenges. Are they too easy, too hard, too uninteresting, or what? Do you want hard core numerical analysis puzzles (like write a fast sqrt function) or do you want Mac-specific problems (like write a fast TileAndStackWindows function) or are things okay as they are? If you have any ideas for future challenges, please send them in (credit will be given in this column if I use one of your ideas). Thanks.

Two Months Ago Winner

The winner of the “Travelling Salesman” challenge is Ronald Nepsund (Northridge, CA) whose solution was the only one of the five I received which gave correct results. The time intensive part of solutions to this class of problems is the distance between two points calculation, which involves a square root. Ronald uses a precomputed sqrt table for values 0 to 25 to eliminate much of this time.

A couple of people chose the algorithm of “find the closest city to where we currently are and move to that city; repeat until all cities have been visited” which is not correct. An example set of input data that broke everyone but Ronald’s solution is: numCities = 8, startCityIndex = 5, *citiesPtr = {1,1}, {2,1}, {3,1}, {2,2}, {1,3}, {2,3}, {3,3}, {2,4}. If you draw it and work it out by hand (through trial and error) you can see that the minimum path distance is 8.66. There is more than one correct ordering for the optimal path but all of the optimal paths will have that same length.

Here is Ronald’s winning solution to the January Challenge:

//***********************************
// Travelling Salesman 
// by Ronald M. Nepsund

#include <math.h>

#define fracBase 0x20000000

//There are two 32 by 20 arrays of longs
//which together give the distance betwean
//any two cities.
//Instead of using Array[i,j] to access
//the array Array[(i<<5)+j] is used
//and two longs are needed to accurately
//measure the distance betwean cities
//so two arrays of longs are used.
//gDistanceFrac is used to hold the
//fractional part of distance in 1/0x20000000
//of a unit.
long  gDistanceInt[640],
 gDistanceFrac[640];
//these are used to represent a path betwean
//the cities.
Byte  gNextCity[20],gOptPath[20];
//how long is the currently selected best
//path so far.
long  gBestPathLength,gFracBestPathLength;

unsignedshort  gNumCities;
unsignedshort  gStartCityIndex;

//precalculated square root for zero to 25
long  qSquTableInt[] =
 {0,1,1,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,
  4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4,
  5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5};
//precalculated square root - fractional part
//in 1/0x20000000 of a whole unit
long  qSquTableFrac[]=
 {0,0,222379212,393016784,0,126738030,
 241317968,346685095,444758425,0,
 87122155,169986639,249162657,
 325102865,398174277,468679365,0,
 66091829,130266726,192682403,
 253476060,312767944,370664138,
 427258795,482635936,0 };

void DoPath(short cityIndex, long InttPathLength,
 long fracPathLength);

//The recursive routien that actually finds
//the shortest path.

void  DoPath(registershort cityIndex,
 long InttPathLength,
 long fracPathLength)
{
 register short  i;
 BooleanlastCity;
 long   offset;
 
 if (fracPathLength > fracBase)  {
 //the fractional value variable has
 //exceeded the value of one whole
 //unit
 InttPathLength += 1;
 fracPathLength -= fracBase;
 }
 
 //Has the path has become longer than the
 //shortest path we have already found?
 if (InttPathLength > gBestPathLength ||
 ((InttPathLength == gBestPathLength) &&
  (fracPathLength >= gFracBestPathLength)))
   return;
 
 //lastCity is used to tell if all the
 //cities have been visited
 lastCity = TRUE;
 //for each city
 for(i = 0; i<gNumCities; i++)
 //if not to same city or already
 //visited city
 if ( i != cityIndex &&
  gNextCity[i] == 0xFF) {
 //not at the end of the path
 lastCity = FALSE;
 //path from city ‘cityIndex’ to ‘i’
 gNextCity[cityIndex] = i;
 //offset into distance arrays
 offset = (cityIndex << 5) + i;
 //go to next city adding the
 //distance to that city to the
 //path length
 DoPath(i,
  InttPathLength+gDistanceInt[offset],
  fracPathLength+gDistanceFrac[offset]);
 } //end if and for
 
 // if this is the last city in the chain and
 // is a shorter path than the previous best
 if ((lastCity) &&
 ((InttPathLength < gBestPathLength) ||
  ((InttPathLength == gBestPathLength) &&
   (fracPathLength < gFracBestPathLength))
   ) ) {
 // make this the current best path
 register long *LPnt1,*LPnt2;
 //this is the current shortest path
 //length now
 gBestPathLength = InttPathLength;
 gFracBestPathLength = fracPathLength;
 //copy path to ‘optPath’
 LPnt1 = (long *)&gNextCity;
 LPnt2 = (long *)&gOptPath;
 for (i= ((3+gNumCities) >> 2); i>0; i-)
 *LPnt2++ = *LPnt1++;
 } else 
 //this city is no longer connected to
 //the next city
 gNextCity[cityIndex] = 0xFF;
}

void InitDistances(unsigned short numCities
 Point *citiesPtr);

//initialize two arrays which will give the
//distance betwean any two cities.
void InitDistances(
 unsigned short numCities,
 Point  *citiesPtr)
{
 short  i,j,offset;
 register long *LPntl1,*LPntF1,
 *LPntI2,*LPntF2;
 long   dist;
 short  deltax,deltay;
 double X;
//The distance from city i to j is the same
//as from city j to i.
//Use pointers into the arrays
//We will add a constant to the pointers to
//step through the array
//instead of doing a multiplication to find
//the wanted entries in the array

 //how far is it betwean any two cities
 for (i=0; i<numCities; i++){
 LPntl1 = gDistanceInt  + i;
 LPntF1 = gDistanceFrac + i;
 offset = i << 5;
 LPntI2 = gDistanceInt  + offset;
 LPntF2 = gDistanceFrac + offset;
 for (j=0; j<=i; j++)
 if (i==j){
 //both pointers are pointing
 //to the same locations in the array
 //distance to the same city is zero
 *LPntI2++ = 0;
 *LPntl1 = 0;  LPntl1 += 32;
 *LPntF2++;
 LPntF1 += 32;
 } else {
 //calculate horizontal and vertical
 //distance betwean city ‘i’ and ‘j’
 deltax = citiesPtr[i].h-
 citiesPtr[j].h;
 deltay = citiesPtr[i].v-
 citiesPtr[j].v;
 //The distance betwean the cities is
 // squareRoot( deltax*deltax +
 // deltay*deltay)
 //Where you can, do multiplications
 //using shorts instead of long’s -
 //They are faster.
 if (-255< deltax && deltax<256)
 if (-255< deltay && deltay<256)
 dist = ((long)(deltax*deltax) + 
 (long)(deltay*deltay));
 else
 dist = ((long)(deltax*deltax) + 
 (long)deltay*deltay);
 else
 if (-255< deltay && deltay<256)
 dist = ((long)deltax*deltax + 
 (long)(deltay*deltay));
 else
 dist = ((long)deltax*deltax + 
 (long)deltay*deltay);

 //do squareRoot
 if (dist <= 25) {
 //use sqrt lookup tables for
 //0 to 25
 *LPntI2++  = *LPntl1 =
 qSquTableInt[dist];
  LPntl1 += 32;
 *LPntF2++  = *LPntF1 =
 qSquTableFrac[dist];
  LPntF1 += 32;
 } else {
        X = sqrt(dist);
 //gDistanceInt[(i<<5) + j] = X;
 //gDistanceInt[(j<<5) + i] = X;
 //integer part of distance
 // between points
 dist = X;
 *LPntl1 = *LPntI2++  = dist;
 LPntl1 += 32;
 
 //gDistanceFrac[i<<5 + j] =
 // (X - dist) * $20000000;
 //gDistanceFrac[j<<5 + i] =
 // (X - dist) * $20000000;
 // fractional part
 dist = (X - dist) * fracBase;
 *LPntF2++  = *LPntF1 = dist;
 LPntF1 += 32;
 }
 }
 }
}

void OptimalPath(unsigned short numCities
 unsigned short startCityIndex,
 Point *citiesPtr,Point *optimalPathPtr);

void OptimalPath(numCities,startCityIndex,citiesPtr,
 optimalPathPtr)
unsigned short numCities;
unsigned short startCityIndex;
Point *citiesPtr;
Point *optimalPathPtr;
{
 register short  i,j;
 long   time,index;
 double X;
 
 //generates the tables for the distances
 //betwean any two cities.
 //This routien takes up most of the time.
 InitDistances(numCities,citiesPtr);
 
 //OxFF means that there is no path from
 //this city to another
 for (i=0; i<numCities; i++)
 //no paths betwean cities
 gNextCity[i] = 0xFF;
 
 gNumCities = numCities;
 gStartCityIndex = startCityIndex;
 //any path done by DoPath will be shorter
 //than this
 gBestPathLength = 0x7FFFFFFF;
 gFracBestPathLength = 0;

 //find the best path
 DoPath(startCityIndex,0,0);  
 
 //put the best path into the form
 //desired for ‘optimalPath’
 j=startCityIndex;
 for(i=0; i<numCities; i++) {
 optimalPathPtr[i] = citiesPtr[j];
 j = gOptPath[j];
 }
}

Rules

Here’s how it works: Each month there will be a different programming challenge presented here. First, you must write some code that solves the challenge. Second, you must optimize your code (a lot). Then, submit your solution to MacTech Magazine (formerly MacTutor). A winner will be chosen based on code correctness, speed, size and elegance (in that order of importance) as well as the postmark of the answer. In the event of multiple equally desirable solutions, one winner will be chosen at random (with honorable mention, but no prize, given to the runners up). The prize for the best solution each month is $50 and a limited edition “The Winner! MacTech Magazine Programming Challenge” T-shirt (not to be found in stores).

In order to make fair comparisons between solutions, all solutions must be in ANSI compatible C. All entries will be tested with the FPU and 68020 flags turned off in THINK C. When timing routines, the latest version of THINK C will be used (with ANSI Settings plus “Honor ‘register’ first” and “Use Global Optimizer” turned on) so beware if you optimize for a different C compiler.

The solution and winners for this month’s Programmers’ Challenge will be published in the issue two months later. All submissions must be received by the 10th day of the month printed on the front of this issue.

All solutions should be marked “Attn: Programmers’ Challenge Solution” and sent to Xplain Corporation (the publishers of MacTech Magazine) via “snail mail” or preferably, e-mail - AppleLink: MT.PROGCHAL, Internet: progchallenge@xplain.com, and CompuServe: 71552,174. If you send via snail mail, please include a disk with the solution and all related files (including contact information). See page 2 for information on “How to Contact Xplain Corporation.”

MacTech Magazine reserves the right to publish any solution entered in the Programming Challenge of the Month and all entries are the property of MacTech Magazine upon submission. The submission falls under all the same conventions of an article submission.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoFinder 7.1 - Catalog your external me...
NeoFinder (formerly CDFinder) rapidly organizes your data, either on external or internal disks, or any other volumes. It catalogs all your data, so you stay in control of your data archive or disk... Read more
TunnelBear 3.0.15 - Subscription-based p...
TunnelBear is a subscription-based virtual private network (VPN) service and companion app, enabling you to browse the internet privately and securely. Features Browse privately - Secure your data... Read more
Hopper Disassembler 4.2.5- - Binary disa...
Hopper Disassembler is a binary disassembler, decompiler, and debugger for 32-bit and 64-bit executables. It will let you disassemble any binary you want, and provide you all the information about... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.261 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Sketch 44.1 - Design app for UX/UI for i...
Sketch is an innovative and fresh look at vector drawing. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.260 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.115 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.115: This update has no Flash plug... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.2.3 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
Myriad 4.1 - $79.00
Myriad is, simply put, one of the best audio batch processors. Totally redesigned, it looks beautiful and delivers incredible performance. Let Myriad do the heavy lifting while you get back to doing... Read more
Suitcase Fusion 7 18.2.4 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 7 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Missile Cards (Games)
Missile Cards 1.0.9 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.9 (iTunes) Description: "Missile Command meets Solitaire...only with more doomlasers, death, and explosions." | Read more »
Collect mini assassins in 'Assassin...
Assassin's Creed is traveling back in time to the Spanish Inquisition for its latest mobile entry, Assassin's Creed Rebellion. The game is giving the series a look that's a huge departure from its past design, recreating classic characters in a... | Read more »
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobil...
Animal Crossing is still coming to mobile in 2017, according to aWaypointinterview with Nintendo. Announced in 2016, the game was delayed without a defined release window. However, fans of Nintendo's fantasy slice of life game won't have to wait... | Read more »
Ravenscroft 275 Piano (Music)
Ravenscroft 275 Piano 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $35.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Experience the splendor of a Ravenscroft Grand with the most realistic sounding piano ever created for iOS. Launch... | Read more »
This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Pros available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for up to $210 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar... Read more
Apple Releases iOS 11 Public Beta; How To Get...
The official release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 11 is vaguely slated for the fall, but as of June 26, ordinary users can download an iOS 11 public beta. To download the iOS 11... Read more
Extend Life of MacBook Pro Retina 2.0TB With...
MacSales.com/Other World Computing has announced availability of the new OWC 2.0TB Aura Pro Solid State Drive for mid-2012 to early 2013 Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display. One of the fastest... Read more
BBEdit SummerFest 2017 Discount Ends Friday,...
You can get 20% off BBEdit for a limited time in Bare Bones Software’s http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Specials/SummerFest.html?mc_cid=f2101ca260&mc_eid=[UNIQID]SummerFest 2017 sale and... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Clearance 27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac available fo...
Amazon clearance 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMacs (MK482LL/A) available for $1799.90 including free shipping. Their price is $500 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
13-inch 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has the updated 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1129 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $1049, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1049 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.