TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Dec 01 Programmers Challenge

Volume Number: 17 (2001)
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: Programmer's Challenge

by Bob Boonstra, Westford, MA

Parent-Teacher Conferences

If you have children in school, you are familiar with parent-teacher conferences. Little Johnny isn’t doing so well in French, or Algebra, or perhaps Advanced Calculus if your school has a gifted and talented program. Or Sally is doing very well in Subatomic Physics, and you’d like to hear her teachers tell you so.

I was reminded recently of a Challenge suggested by Ernst Munter to write code that would help schools schedule these conferences. Your Challenge this month is to arrange a set of parent-teacher conferences that maximize the parents’ satisfaction and minimize the amount of time wasted by both parents and teachers in between conferences.

You will be given three data sets to work with for each test case. The first, in a file childrenNN.txt (where NN is a number from 01 to the number of test cases), will have one line for each child in the school, containing the child’s name followed by the names of one or two parents. No child will appear on more than one line, and there will be no duplicate names of children. A sample would be the following:

Johnny Smith, Donald Smith, Marilyn Waters-Smith
Sally Jones,Samantha Jones

The second data set, in a file named teachersNN.txt, maps children to their teachers. Each line contains the name of a child, followed by the name of one of his/her teachers, followed by a number from 0 to 9 indicating the strength of the parents’ desire to talk with that teacher. A value of 0 indicates no conference is desired, up to a value of 9 indicating the strongest desire for a conference. Example lines from this file might be:

Johnny Smith, Richard Darwin, 3
Johnny Smith, Rene Descartes, 9
Johnny Smith, Edgar Allen Poe, 0
Sally Jones, Rene Descartes, 5
Sally Jones, Albert Einstein, 9

The final data set, in a file named schedulesNN.txt, identifies which parents are available at which times. The first line in this file contains the number N of conference periods available for scheduling. All teachers can be available for any or all of the periods from 1..N. Subsequent lines contain the names of parents, along with the first and the last conference period for which they will be available. Parents will be available for any period between their first and last available periods, inclusive. Each parent whose name appears in the children.txt file will appear on one line in the schedules.txt file. Example lines from this file might be:

9
Donald Smith, 1,9
Samantha Jones, 4,9
Marilyn Waters-Smith,4,6

Finally, the number of test cases is provided in a file input.txt, with a single line containing the number of test cases:

15

Your code needs to produce output that provides the matching of parents to teachers. The output (conferencesNN.txt) should contain one line for each conference, with the name of the teacher first, the name of the parent second, and the conference period third. No parent or teacher can be in more than one conference during a given period. Both parents of a given child can participate in a conference with a teacher if they are both available during that period (two lines would be output in such a case). One line in such a file might be:

Richard Darwin,Marilyn Waters-Smith,5

Finally, your solution needs to produce a log file (log.txt) that contains, for each test case, the execution time in milliseconds that your solution required to process the test case.

Once again, the objective is to maximize parents’ satisfaction with the conference schedule, and to minimize wasted time. The Challenge will be scored based on the number of penalty points accumulated by each entry. If a desired conference is not accommodated, you will accumulate 1-9 penalty points, depending on the strength of the parents’ desire for that conference as expressed in teachers.txt. If a parent has a gap in the conference schedule, where a conference is scheduled during periods N and N+2, but not in N+1, you will accumulate one penalty point for each unscheduled period in the gap. Similar penalty points will accumulate for gaps in the conference schedule for teachers. Finally, the penalty will be increased by 10% for each second of execution time used by your solution.

We’re going to make another attempt to broaden the development environments accepted for the Challenge, despite mixed success in the past. This will be a native PowerPC Challenge, using any of the following environments: CodeWarrior Pro, REALbasic, MetaCard, Revolution, or ProjectBuilder. You may use another development environment if I can arrange to obtain a copy – email progchallenge@mactech.com to check before you use something else. You can develop for Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X. Your submission should provide everyting needed to build your application.

Three Months Ago Winner

I mentioned above that we have had mixed success in experimenting with alternative development environments for the Challenge. That was certainly true in the September Challenge, where we asked readers to produce Nassi-Schneiderman diagrams using the environment of their choice. Perhaps because the Challenge focused on diagramming C/C++ code, no one submitted an entry using these alternative environments. Sadly, no one submitted a C/C++ entry either, so we have no winner for the Challenge this month. Remember, you can’t win if you don’t play!

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $999.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1199.99 $100 off - 21″ 2.9GHz iMac... Read more
5K iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP, fre...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1899.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. They have the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149.99 $2199.99, $... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini, refurbished, available for $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 1.4GHz Mac minis available for $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Their price is $80 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.