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Higher / Advanced Higher Scholar Competition - HSN forum

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Higher / Advanced Higher Scholar Competition


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#1 Moniker42

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:21 PM

INFORMATION FROM
www.macs.hw.ac.uk/cs/challenge

Competition Details
On the 31st of December a hurricane struck the centre of Edinburgh. Many buildings have been destroyed and an unknown number of people have been trapped within them. You are in charge of scheduling a set of rescue robots which will enter the section below in order to rescue as many victims as possible.

Time is limited: if people are not rescued in the first 48 hours then they will die.

Your rescue robots have a base at the junction of Princes St and Frederick St and are of the following kinds:

4 thermal imaging robots able to detect a person trapped in a building from a spot right in front, but not able to carry anybody.

4 heavy-duty lifting robots able to enter a building and carry two people out

You also have 10 ambulances which will transport people from the Princes St base to the Royal Infirmary via the west end of Princes St, which is their marshalling position. Each ambulance holds 4 people.

The rules for the rescue operation describe how the robots and ambulances can move.

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What you have to do
a) Be able to collect a test file from the competition website and read it into your program. The file format for the test file is described here.

b) Log every action taken by robots each simulation cycle in the specified format. The file format for the log output file is described here.

c) Report how many people have been rescued when the simulation finishes.

d) GROUPS ONLY: produce a visualisation of the running simulation.

e) Deliver the input file, program, output file and a short report.


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Right, so, er. How would that work in VBASIC. Any ideas? =)
I think i'll enter the competition, but i'd rather enter with the other two advanced higher students, not sure if they're wanting to do it though... meh..


#2 Dave

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 04:40 PM

its difficult to say when i dont know the file formats but basically you have to work out how you will represent each type of robot. This would be easy in an object orientated language like java in VB it is possible to create classes and things. If you read up on how to implement this in VB then i think its the neatest solution

The reading and writing files wont be hard just look on the internet for the technicalities

You need to think about an algorithm for searching and saving people. Look at travelling salesmen algorithms for ideas.

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#3 Moniker42

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 06:26 PM

I think it looks good.. plus the prospect of a free ipod if i do it in a team with the other 2 advanced highers.
Buuut they're not wanting to do a project dry.gif

Then again, if i do it myself... free laptop!! cool.gif cool.gif

Hehe, i'm assuming that i'll win tongue.gif

:edit: I guess i won't win anyway.. it'll be some guy at a private school with all the latest software >.< We're still using VB6

#4 Moniker42

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 12:25 AM

gurrr.. bloody school... been asking to get registered for the competition all week and we register online on the morning of the last day of school... ohmy.gif

giving the assistant head teacher i gave it to all of 3 hours to read it, sign it, and send it. Probably won't get access to the file details and everything on the heriot-watt site now sad.gif

has anyone else registered for the competition? blink.gif
can i use your password to download the files? unsure.gif

#5 Blondie

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 11:49 AM

I wasn't here the last week of school, but apparently our teacher just took down our names or something. We won't actually start working on it until after the summer (which sucks, I wanted a head start. >.<).
-Blondie.

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#6 Moniker42

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 02:08 AM

Yea i wanted to do the bulk of it over the summer holidays...
STINKING SCHOOL >.<

i asked about it for a fortnight and they got round to actually doing it 3 hours before the summer holidays started O.o

#7 Moniker42

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 07:52 PM

ok i got my email with username and password today - but you can't get any of the details until september the 4th.

as father ted once said "for feck sake!!"

i wanted to get a head start over the summer, i've even cleared a little area on my desk next to the printer for my new laptop to go...




#8 dfx

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:38 PM

Ok so WHAT EXACTLY do you have to "program"?

#9 Dave

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Posted 12 July 2006 - 10:27 AM

program an algorithm to save people and program a visual representation of where all the robots and ambulances are(teams only)

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#10 Marcus

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:46 AM

QUOTE(Moniker42 @ Jun 26 2006, 06:26 PM) View Post
:edit: I guess i won't win anyway.. it'll be some guy at a private school with all the latest software >.< We're still using VB6


I know I'm bringing up a REALLY old topic, but I entered and won this competition (group entry), and I used VB6 (and I don't go to a private school)...is anyone doing the competition this year (just to see who I'm up against XD XD)?
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#11 Dave

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 10:59 PM

congradulations on winning I would be interested in seeing what your solution was like

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#12 Marcus

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 01:04 AM

QUOTE(Dave @ Jan 18 2008, 10:59 PM) View Post
congradulations on winning I would be interested in seeing what your solution was like


quite difficult to explain this....
Firstly a screenshot....


The robots were an array of public types, holding values such as location, action, number of people ,etc...

Every turn, all the robots were looped through and given a task.

For the AI, it was fairly simple...every thermal imager headed to the nearest unscanned square and scanned it, heavy lifters rescued the nearest person, or if no discovered people, just cleared debris, and ambulances ferried people from the nearest heavy lifter to the hospitals. Though this seems quite disorganised, it is actually produces the quickest rescue and is the easiest to code (it is also very cool to watch...all the robots act like a huge swarm, and just engulf the map laugh.gif )

A few extras were also added...I coded the custom activeX header-bar on the forms and the analogue clock (a digital one just wouldn't be good enough, would it? laugh.gif )
=-=-=Marcus=-=-=

#13 Dave

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 12:28 AM

do you know for sure the algorithm you used was the best. I wonder if instead of the greedy algorithm you used if a divide and conquer algorithm would have worked where each overall building has its own mini team and works independent of the other robots. Having said that your solution impresses

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#14 Marcus

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE(Dave @ Feb 27 2008, 12:28 AM) View Post
do you know for sure the algorithm you used was the best. I wonder if instead of the greedy algorithm you used if a divide and conquer algorithm would have worked where each overall building has its own mini team and works independent of the other robots. Having said that your solution impresses


Yes, I agree the divide and conquer algorithm sounds the most logical (and actually used by the winner, and runner up individual entries), we even had the basis of a divide and conquer method, but it was scrapped (along with a lot of time, and code sad.gif ) as you end up having a lot of travelling time, the thermal imagers (T on my previous screenshot) are bottom right, so to get one to the top left building it takes 15-20 turns, thats before you even start searching, rescuing etc.
The "Greedy" algorithm (like your name biggrin.gif) all the travelling time is part of the searching, and clearing process.

Last year we saw the winners and runner up entries, and ours completed the task in 200-250 cycles whereas theirs took over 350 (this may also have something to do with ours had two members, so the code may have been a bit more optimised XD)
=-=-=Marcus=-=-=





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