TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 00 Challenge

Volume Number: 16 (2000)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Programmer's Challenge

Programmer's Challenge

by Bob Boonstra, Westford, MA

Web apps with Lasso and FileMaker Pro

Latin Squares

A Latin Square of order N is an NxN array of numbers, where each number from 0..N-1 occurs exactly once in each row and in each column. Your Challenge this month is to construct Latin Squares that are minimal, in the sense that each must form the smallest NxN digit base N number, where the digits are read off column by column, one row at a time.

The prototype for the code you should write is:

#if defined(__cplusplus)
extern "C" {
#endif

void LatinSquares(
  short n,	/* dimension of the Latin Square to be generated */
  short *latinSquare	/* set latinSquare[c + r*n] to square value row r, col c */
);

#if defined(__cplusplus)
}
#endif

For example, 

				1234
				2341
				4123
				3412

is a Latin Square with the value 1234234141233412. It is not the minimal Latin Square of order 4, however, since the following Latin Square,

				1234
				2143
				3412
				4321

forms the number 1234214334124321.

The dimension of the squares you must generate will be less than 2**16. The winner will be the solution that correctly computes minimal Latin Squares in the least amount of execution time. Code size and code elegance, in that order, will be the tiebreakers, in the event two solutions are within 1% of one another in execution time. All Latin Squares must be computed at execution time - entries that precompute solutions will be disqualified.

This month's Challenge was suggested by Aaron Montgomery, who earns 2 Challenge points for making the suggestion

This will be a native PowerPC Challenge, using the CodeWarrior Pro 5 environment. Solutions may be coded in C, C++, or Pascal. Solutions in Java will also be accepted, but Java entries must be accompanied by a test driver that uses the interface provided in the problem statement.

Three Months Ago Winner

Congratulations to Tom Saxton for taking first place in the November, 1999, Putting Green Challenge. While I'm not sure that the next Ryder Cup teams will be beating a path to his door for his four-putting green skills, Tom did soundly beat the three other entries.

The Putting Green Challenge required contestants to analyze a sequence of greens described as three-dimensional points connected into adjoining triangles. Each green had a fixed pin position, and several holes were played on each green from varying initial ball positions. Complicating the Challenger's job was the fact that the propagation model was unknown, available only by observing the results of a putt. For each green, the contestants were given several practice holes that could be used to puzzle out the propagation model. Scoring was based on an award of 100 points for each hole successfully completed, minus 10 points for each stroke taken (not counting practice holes), and minus 10 points for each second of execution time (including practice time).

Two of the solutions submitted did not manage to sink a putt for any of the holes played in my test match. One of those solutions simply hit the ball at the hole very hard, trying to take advantage of a possible ambiguity about ball velocity in the problem statement. I heard from enough real golfers who had rimmed the cup a few times that I had to close the velocity loophole. Tom's winning solution is fairly straightforward. He takes 10 practice shots on the first hole of the first green to estimate the drag coefficients. It does not attempt to analyze the contours of the green or to model the effect of gravity. But the drag model is good enough to put the ball in the hole with only one putt on a level green, and with one or two putts on a flat but gently sloping green.

I used three greens in my test cases, a perfectly flat and level green, a flat but gently sloping green, and a green with more varied terrain. Five practice holes were played on each green, five scored holes on each of the first two greens, and 20 holes on the final green. On the interesting terrain of the last hole, Tom's solution completed each hole successfully, taking up to seven putts to complete the hole.

The table below lists, for each of the solutions submitted, the number of holes successfully completed, the total number of strokes taken on nonpractice holes, total execution time, the total score, and the size and language code parameters. As usual, the number in parentheses after the entrant's name is the total number of Challenge points earned in all Challenges prior to this one.

Name Holes Strokes Time Score Code Data Lang
Tom Saxton (138) 30 117 3.148 1829.969 2224 432 C
Brady Duga 10 49 2.435 509.976 1660 380 C
R. S. 0 60 0.42 -600.004 568 93 C++
J. T. 0 210 197.47 -2101.975 2580 255 C

Top Contestants

Listed here are the Top Contestants for the Programmer's Challenge, including everyone who has accumulated 10 or more points during the past two years. The numbers below include points awarded over the 24 most recent contests, including points earned by this month's entrants.

Rank Name Points
1. Munter, Ernst 237
2. Saxton, Tom 146
3. Maurer, Sebastian 67
4. Rieken, Willeke 51
5. Heithcock, JG 43
6. Shearer, Rob 41
7. Boring, Randy 39
8. Brown, Pat 20
9. Hostetter, Mat 20
10. Jones, Dennis 12
11. Hart, Alan 11
12. Duga, Brady 10
13. Hewett, Kevin 10
14. Murphy, ACC 10
14. Selengut, Jared 10
16. Smith, Brad 10
17. Strout, Joe 10
18. Varilly, Patrick 10

There are three ways to earn points: (1) scoring in the top 5 of any Challenge, (2) being the first person to find a bug in a published winning solution or, (3) being the first person to suggest a Challenge that I use. The points you can win are:

1st place 20 points
2nd place 10 points
3rd place 7 points
4th place 4 points
5th place 2 points
finding bug 2 points
suggesting Challenge 2 points

Here is Tom's winning Putting Green solution:

PuttingGreen.c
Copyright © 1999 Tom Saxton

#include "PuttingGreen.h"

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <math.h>

enum
{
	fFalse = 0,
	fTrue = TRUE
};
#define DIM(a) (sizeof(a)/sizeof((a)[0]))

// disable asserts
#define Assert(f)

// vector types and constants
typedef struct Point3DDouble VEC;
static const double epsilon = 1.0e-7;
static const VEC s_normalZ = { 0, 0, 1.0 };
static const VEC s_vecZero;

// this green

static Point3DDouble *s_paposGrid;
static int s_cposGrid;
static MyTriangle *s_patri;
static int s_ctri;
static int s_itriPin;
static Point3DDouble s_posPin;

static int s_cholePractice;			// number of practice putts
static int s_choleScored;				// number of scored putts

// computed physical constants for this green
static int s_fGetDrag = fTrue;
static double mDrag, bDrag;

// current state

static int s_ihole;						// which hole are we on?
static int s_cputt;						// which putt is this
static int s_fPractice;				// is this a practice putt?
static Point3DDouble s_posCur;	// where's the ball?

// the current putt

static double s_svInitial;
static double s_distExpect;

// vector utilities

static void _SubVec(VEC pos1, VEC pos2, VEC *pposResult);
static double _DotVec(VEC vec1, VEC vec2);
static double _LenVec(VEC vec);
static void _ScaleVec(VEC vec, double s, VEC *pvecResult);

// triangle utilities

static void _GetMidTriPos(int itri, Point3DDouble *ppos);

//
// Entry Points
//
#if 0
static void ___Entry_Points(){}
#endif

InitGreen

void InitGreen(
	Point3DDouble paposGrid[],	/* green terrain description */
	long cposGrid,	/* number of points */
	MyTriangle patri[],	/* triangles comprising the green */
	int ctri,	/* number of triangles */
	long itriPin,	/* index in triangles[] of the pin on this green */
	long cholePractice,	/* number of unscored (but timed) holes to 			   practice on this green */
	long choleScored	/* number of holes to be scored on this green */
)

{
	s_paposGrid = paposGrid;
	s_cposGrid = cposGrid;
	s_patri = patri;
	s_ctri = ctri;
	s_itriPin = itriPin;
	
	s_cholePractice = cholePractice;
	s_choleScored = choleScored;
	
	_GetMidTriPos(itriPin, &s_posPin);
	
	s_ihole = 0;
}
	
#pragma warn_unusedarg off

StartHole

void StartHole(	/* called to start play on this hole */
	Point3DDouble posStart, 	/* initial ball position on the green */
	Boolean fPractice	/* TRUE if this hole is practice */
)
{
	++s_ihole;
	
	s_posCur = posStart;
	s_cputt = 0;
	s_fPractice = fPractice;
}

#pragma warn_unusedarg reset

#define cputtPractice 10
#define cputtScore    10

typedef struct SD SD;
struct SD
{
	double speed;
	double dist;
};
static SD s_asd[cputtPractice];
static int s_csd;

MakePutt

Boolean 		/* quit */ MakePutt(
	Velocity2DDouble *pvXY		/* return initial ball velocity in the z==0 plane */
)
{
	double dist;
	Point3DDouble vXY;
		
	if (s_cputt >= (s_fPractice ? cputtPractice : cputtScore))
	{
		if (s_fGetDrag)
		{
			int isd;
			double sumX, sumY, sumXY, sumXX;
			
			Assert(s_csd > 0);

			// do linear regression on the data

			sumX = sumY = sumXY = sumXX = 0;
			for (isd = 0; isd < s_csd; ++isd)
			{
				SD *psd = &s_asd[isd];
				double y = psd->dist;
				double x = fabs(psd->speed);
				
				sumXX += x * x;
				sumXY += x * y;
				sumX += x;
				sumY += y;
			}
			
			mDrag = (sumX*sumY - s_csd*sumXY)/(sumX*sumX - s_csd*sumXX);
			bDrag = (sumY - mDrag*sumX)/s_csd;
			
			Assert(0.0 <= mDrag && mDrag <= 5.0);
			Assert(-5.0 <= bDrag && bDrag <= 5.0);

			s_fGetDrag = fFalse;
		}
		
		// give up

		return fTrue;
	}
	
	// just give up after we've finished with practice shots

	if (s_fPractice && !s_fGetDrag)
		return fTrue;

	_SubVec(s_posPin, s_posCur, &vXY);
	vXY.z = 0;
	dist = _LenVec(vXY);
	
	if (s_fGetDrag)
	{
		s_svInitial = 3.0*(1.0 + s_cputt/2);
		if (s_cputt % 2)
			s_svInitial = -s_svInitial;
	}
	else
	{
		s_svInitial = (dist + 0.03 - bDrag) / mDrag;
		s_distExpect = dist;
	}
	_ScaleVec(vXY, s_svInitial/dist, &vXY);
	
	pvXY->x = vXY.x;
	pvXY->y = vXY.y;

	return fFalse; // keep going
}

BallMovement

void BallMovement(
	BallPosition papos4[],	/* provides ball movement in response to MakePutt */
	int cpos,	/* number of ball positions provided */
	Boolean fInHole	/* true if the ball went into the hole */
)
{
	Point3DDouble posNew;
	
	posNew = papos4[cpos-1].pt;
	
	if (!fInHole)
	{
		double dist;
		Point3DDouble vecMove;
			
		_SubVec(posNew, s_posCur, &vecMove);
		dist = _LenVec(vecMove);

		if (s_fGetDrag)
		{
			Assert(0 <= s_csd && s_csd < DIM(s_asd));
			s_asd[s_csd].speed = fabs(s_svInitial);
			s_asd[s_csd].dist = dist;
			++s_csd;
		}
	}

	s_posCur = posNew;
		
	++s_cputt;
}

//
// Vector Functions
//

#if 0
static void ___Vector_Functions(){}
#endif

_SubVec

static void _SubVec(VEC pos1, VEC pos2, VEC *pposResult)
{
	pposResult->x = pos1.x - pos2.x;
	pposResult->y = pos1.y - pos2.y;
	pposResult->z = pos1.z - pos2.z;
}

_DotVec

static double _DotVec(VEC vec1, VEC vec2)
{
	return vec1.x * vec2.x + vec1.y * vec2.y + vec1.z * vec2.z;
}

_LenVec

static double _LenVec(VEC vec)
{
	return sqrt(_DotVec(vec, vec));
}
_ScaleVec

static void _ScaleVec(VEC vec, double s, VEC *pvecResult)
{
	pvecResult->x = s * vec.x;
	pvecResult->y = s * vec.y;
	pvecResult->z = s * vec.z;

}

_GetMidTriPos

static void _GetMidTriPos(int itri, Point3DDouble *pposMid)
{
	MyTriangle tri;
	int iipos;
	
	Assert(0 <= itri && itri < s_ctri);
	tri = s_patri[itri];
	
	*pposMid = s_vecZero;
	
	for (iipos = 0; iipos < DIM(tri.pointIndices); ++iipos)
	{
		Point3DDouble *ppos;
		
		Assert(0 <= tri.pointIndices[iipos] && 
										tri.pointIndices[iipos] < s_cposGrid);
		ppos = &s_paposGrid[tri.pointIndices[iipos]];
		
		pposMid->x += ppos->x;
		pposMid->y += ppos->y;
		pposMid->z += ppos->z;
	}
	
	pposMid->x *= 1.0/3.0;
	pposMid->y *= 1.0/3.0;
	pposMid->z *= 1.0/3.0;
}
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

pwSafe 4.0.1 - Secure password managemen...
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
WALTR 1.5.4 - Drag-and-drop any media fi...
WALTR is designed to make it easy to upload and convert any music or video file to an iPad or iPhone format for native playback. It supports a huge variety of media file types, including MP3, MP4,... Read more
Audio Hijack 3.1 - Record and enhance au...
Audio Hijack (was Audio Hijack Pro) drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio... Read more
PopChar 7.1 - Floating window shows avai...
We're also selling a 5-license family pack for only $25.99! PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar X provides a frustration-free way to... Read more
BBEdit 11.1.1 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Picasa 3.9.139 - Organize, edit, and sha...
Picasa and Picasa Web Albums allows you to organize, edit, and upload your photos to the Web from your computer in quick, simple steps. Arrange your photos into folders and albums and erase their... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0.5 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
NetShade 6.2 - Browse privately using an...
This promotion is for NetShade and 1 year of Proxy and VPN services NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.3 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Little Snitch 3.5.3 - Alerts you about o...
Little Snitch gives you control over your private outgoing data. Track background activity As soon as your computer connects to the Internet, applications often have permission to send any... Read more

Block Fortress has a Big New Update for...
Block Fortress is a survival-style game that's as fun as it is blocky. It's also just gotten a rather sizeable update that adds a lot more cool stuff. [Read more] | Read more »
Simple and Surreal Star Base Sim rymdkap...
I really like rymdkapsel. Not just because I'm a sucker for games that are cleverly simple or highly stylisitc, but because it's fun and challenging. Actually it's extremely challenging, which is why I was excited to learn that it's getting a couple... | Read more »
Check out the anticipated Angel Stone in...
Fincon has finally revealed Angel Stone in action in the first ever official gameplay trailer for the anticipated hack and slasher. Angel Stone is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which humanity is in danger of being wiped out by the demonic... | Read more »
Moleskine Timepage is an All-New Calenda...
Moleskine Timepage is a bit of a departure for the notebook manufacturer (since it has little to do with notebooks), but it certainly carries their simple and elegant style quite well. [Read more] | Read more »
Jog on Over and Check Out the New Runtas...
Runtastic has put out a fair number of apps to help you sleep, track excercise, and train various parts of your body. Now it's time for your legs to have their own time in the spotlight with Runtastic Leg Trainer. [Read more] | Read more »
It's Lights Out in the Upcoming Pla...
Ember’s Journey is a stark puzzle platformer with a twist: the entire game is played in darkness. The only light you can see by is the one emanating from your own character. [Read more] | Read more »
MooVee - Your Movies Guru (Entertainmen...
MooVee - Your Movies Guru 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: MooVee helps you effortlessly manage your movies, on your iPhone. | Read more »
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions (Games)
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enjoy the next chapter in the award-winning Geometry Wars franchise and enjoy stunning, console-quality... | Read more »
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ (Games)
CHAOS RINGS Ⅲ 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The newest addition to the popular smartphone RPG series is finally here! ・CHAOS RINGS Overview | Read more »
The Popular Insight Series of Travel Gui...
Getting around in a country when you can't understand the primary language can be tough. Fortunately there are several options available to help wold travellers with the important stuff like giving directions to a cab driver or asking where the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Top Markets Saturation To Slow Global Smartph...
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone shipments are expected to grow 11.3% in 2015 — down from 27... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
What Would the ideal Apple Productivity Platf...
For the past four years I’ve kept a foot in both the Mac and iPad camps respectively. my daily computing hours divided about 50/50 between the two devices with remarkable consistency. However, there’... Read more
PageMeUp 1.2.1 Ten Dollar Page Layout Applica...
Paris, France-based Softobe, an OS X software development company, has announced that their PageMeUp v. 1.2.1, is available on the Mac App Store for $9.99. The license can be installed on up to 5... Read more
Eight New Products For USB Type-C Application...
Fresco Logic, specialists in advanced connectivity technologies and ICs, has introduced two new product families targeting the Type-C connector recently introduced across a number of consumer... Read more
Scripps National Spelling Bee Launches Buzzwo...
Scripps National Spelling Bee fans can monitor the action at the 2015 Spelling Bee with the new Buzzworthy app for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. The free Buzzworthy app provides friendly... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $120 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $979 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model (except for Apple’... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899, $10...
B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $50 on iPad Air 2, NY tax only, fr...
B&H Photo has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $50 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $469 $30 off - 64GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $549.99 $50 off - 128GB iPad... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Program Manager, *Apple* Community Support...
**Job Summary** Apple Support Communities ( discussions. apple .com) helps customers get the most from their Apple products and services by providing access to Read more
Senior Data Scientist, *Apple* Retail - Onl...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail - Online sells Apple products to customers around the world. In addition to selling Apple products with unique services such as iPad Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Watch SW Application Project Manager...
**Job Summary** The Apple Watch software team is looking for an Application Engineering Project Manager to work on new projects for Apple . The successful candidate Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.