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Showing posts from June, 2010

ICFP 2010 contest is a bust for me

The ICFP 2010 contest rules have been posted, and I am quite disappointed by this year's contest.
This year's contest is difficult to describe. It's too clever by half, and it depends too much on time, and too much on repeated interaction with the organizer's servers.
The conceit is that you're designing "car engines", and "fuel for car engines". A car engine is a directed graph with certain properties, and "fuel" is a directed graph with other properties that generates a set of coefficients that are fed to the engine.
Layered on top of that is an encoding puzzle (you have to figure out how the engine and fuel directed graphs are encoded for submission to the IFCP servers.)
Layered on top of that is an economy where you are encouraged to submit your own car engines and write optimal fuels for other people's car engines. There are benefits for finding better fuels for existing car designs. (You aren't provided the details of the ot…