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

pwSafe 4.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
Kodi 15.0.rc1 - Powerful media center to...
Kodi (was XBMC) is an award-winning free and open-source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user... Read more
Coda 2.5.11 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
Bookends 12.5.7 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Maya 2016 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
RapidWeaver 6.2.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
MacFamilyTree 7.5.2 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: it's modern, interactive, incredibly fast, and easy to use. We're convinced that generations of chroniclers would have loved to trade in their genealogy... Read more
Paragraphs 1.0.1 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Everything in... Read more
BlueStacks App Player 0.9.21 - Run Andro...
BlueStacks App Player lets you run your Android apps fast and fullscreen on your Mac. Version 0.9.21: Note: Now requires OS X 10.8 or later running on a 64-bit Intel processor. Initial stable... Read more
Tweetbot 2.0.2 - Popular Twitter client....
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more

Rage of Bahamut is Giving Almost All of...
The App Store isn't what it used to be back in 2012, so it's not unexpected to see some games changing their structures with the times. Now we can add Rage of Bahamut to that list with the recent announcement that the game is severely cutting back... | Read more »
Adventures of Pip (Games)
Adventures of Pip 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** ONE WEEK ONLY — 66% OFF! *** “Adventures of Pip is a delightful little platformer full of charm, challenge and impeccable... | Read more »
Divide By Sheep - Tips, Tricks, and Stre...
Who would have thought splitting up sheep could be so involved? Anyone who’s played Divide by Sheep, that’s who! While we’re not about to give you complete solutions to everything (because that’s just cheating), we will happily give you some... | Read more »
NaturalMotion and Zynga Have Started Tea...
An official sequel to 2012's CSR Racing is officially on the way, with Zynga and NaturalMotion releasing a short teaser trailer to get everyone excited. Well, as excited as one can get from a trailer with no gameplay footage, anyway. [Read more] | Read more »
Grab a Friend and Pick up Overkill 3, Be...
Overkill 3 is a pretty enjoyable third-person shooter that was sort of begging for some online multiplayer. Fortunately the begging can stop, because its newest update has added an online co-op mode. [Read more] | Read more »
Scanner Pro's Newest Update Adds Au...
Scanner Pro is one of the most popular document scanning apps on iOS, thanks in no small part to its near-constant updates, I'm sure. Now we're up to update number six, and it adds some pretty handy new features. [Read more] | Read more »
Heroki (Games)
Heroki 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: CLEAR THE SKIES FOR A NEW HERO!The peaceful sky village of Levantia is in danger! The dastardly Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice,... | Read more »
Wars of the Roses (Games)
Wars of the Roses 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
TapMon Battle (Games)
TapMon Battle 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It's time to battle!Tap! Tap! Tap! Try tap a egg to hatch a Tapmon!Do a battle with another tapmons using your hatched tapmons! *... | Read more »
Alchemic Dungeons (Games)
Alchemic Dungeons 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ### Release Event! ### 2.99$->0.99$ for limited time! ### Roguelike Role Playing Game! ### Alchemic Dungeons is roguelike... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One...
Canon U.S.A., Inc. has announced the PIXMA MG3620 Wireless (1) Inkjet All-in-One (AIO) printer for high-quality photo and document printing. Built with convenience in mind for the everyday home user... Read more
July 4th Holiday Weekend 13-inch MacBook Pro...
Save up to $150 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro at the following resellers this weekend. Shipping is free with each model: 2.7GHz/128GB MSRP $1299 2.7GHz/... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149.99. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Their price is $... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2015 11-inch...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ MacBook Airs as well as 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-... Read more
15-inch 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $2274 including free shipping. Their price is $225 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Finally Safe To Upgrade To Yosemite’?
The reason I’ve held back from upgrading my MacBook Air from OS X 10.9 Mavericks to 10.10 Yosemite for nearly a year isn’t just procrastination. Among other bugs reported, there have been persistent... Read more
Logo Pop Free Vector Logo Design App For OS X...
128bit Technologies has released of Logo Pop Free 1.2 for Mac OS X, a vector based, full-fledged, logo design app available exclusively on the Mac App Store for the agreeable price of absolutely free... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
B&H Photo has new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Best Buy has the 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $999.99 on their... Read more
16GB iPad mini 3 on sale for $339, save $60
B&H Photo has the 16GB iPad mini 3 WiFi on sale for $339 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $60 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $40 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $40 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $489 $10 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $559 $40 off - 128GB iPad Air... Read more

Jobs Board

Global Deployment Project Manager, *Apple*...
…international landscape is paramount to drive innovation, compliance, competition of Apple 's strengths, and talent planning. Manages the process, logistics, and systems Read more
*Apple* MAC Support Services Subject Matter...
Title: Apple MAC Support Services Subject Matter Expert Location: Pleasanton, CA Type of position: Temporary Contract for approximately 6 weeks Tasks The tasks for the Read more
*Apple* MAC Support Administrator - Net2Sour...
…solutions customized to client needs including staffing, training and technology Title Apple MAC Support Administrator Location Belmont, CA Duration 6+ Month Job Read more
*Apple* Certified Mac Technician - Updated 6...
…and friendly, hands-on technical support to customers troubleshooting and repairing Apple /Mac products with courtesy, speed and skill. Use your problem-solving skills Read more
*Apple* MAC Support Services Subject Matter...
…the best talent to create a competitive advantage. Currently, we are seeking an Apple MAC Support Services Subject Matter Expert for a long term contract in Pleasanton, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.