Tuesday, August 19, 2008

IOI Contest Day 1

Today was the start of the real competition at the IOI with the first of two five hour rounds with three problems each. From the GA meeting last night us team leaders saw the problems and recognised the last two as challenging, however, we still underestimated them as the scores have turned out lower than usual.

While the contestants wrote the competition the team leaders attended the 2nd IOI Conference, where some interesting papers were presented. Unfortunately I've been so zonked out that I had to skip the second half in favour of sleep.

As usual it was very stressful waiting for the contestants not knowing how they were coping. At least with the ACM ICPC we get to view the scores during the contest, whereas here we get absolutely no feedback. This was made worse when the spew of contestants came back from the contest arena into lunch and they kept on coming, and coming and we never saw our team...Peter eventually decided to look around for them and found them. The first signs weren't very good, but after hearing what the other teams had to say we felt a bit better.

One thing in past IOI's that has varied drastically is the time for results to be released. This year it was looking reasonable as they quickly got the results printed, but then they took their sweet time to release them and put them in the pigeon holes. They insisted that we could not collect them until they had placed everyone's results in the pigeon holes, which was a painful process to watch. Just before they eventually finished I was told they had enabled analysis mode so many teams saw their results on the contest computers. We stuck it out a couple more minutes and I was one of the first to collect the paper results.

The results were almost as expected from what the guys had thought of their submissions, minus a couple silly bugs. Our top score was 100, which given the partial unofficial results doesn't look so bad compared to what it might have in a previous IOI. A good score seems to be 140 -- 100 for printing and 40 for islands, although 100 is good enough to make a return in the next round of competition.

After the results were released we went back to the contest arena for analysis mode. We tried saving our solutions and the official test data to flash disk, but the judges for some reason didn't like that idea and were insistant that we stop immediately. I hope we weren't the only ones stopped as we weren't even allowed to print solutions. Anyway, we looked through the results and discovered a couple silly bugs such as the use of ints instead of long long in a single place for islands.

Once we were satisfied with things we went to catch the bus for the Nile cruise, which was supposed to leave it 17:00. Want to guess what happened? Why yes of course, we sat in the bus for about 2 hours before leaving with absolutely no reason given at all! When we finally did get going we were stuck in pretty heavy traffic, which is unusual for us at this time of day. It was about a 90 minute bus ride to the ship and we caught our first glimpse of pyramids along the way. I was so surprised to see them as I wasn't expecting them that when I did see them I shouted "Woah, pyramids!!" and my entire team abrubtly woke up!

And I just have to include this wonderful photo:

After waiting so patiently in the bus and taking the long bus ride, our patience was to be tested even further as we waited about another 45 minutes for the ship to arrive and be prepared for us. When we eventually got on we were offered a buffet dinner and we ran to be one of the first in the queue. It was pretty good food and a nice filler given the previously smallish meals we've been served. The dessert was especially delicious!

The dinner was accompanied by some humorous dancing:

The bus trip back included lots of sleeping:

Tomorrow we have a trip to the pyramids of Giza in the morning followed by activities and the GA meeting for the second day of tasks.

No comments:

Post a Comment