Thursday, December 15, 2011

5 hours @ ICPC Asia Regionals Amritapuri

  At 8:30 am On 12th December, Aditya Prajapati, Arth Patel and myself or in other words Team Zion wwere sitting in the Computer Lab of Amrita University waitingo for the ACM ICPC Asia Regionals to start.
  Going back 2 days, 10th December morning, we were completing our final examination of the 5th Semester. Just after the exam we rushed to the printers for our tickets, then went to railway station to catch a 4pm train to Mumbai then a 5am flight to Kochi and finally a car ride to the campus. We were exhausted but we had a night to partially recharge our batteries.
  Anyways, the contest time, we idiotically didnot get Kevin sir's "notebook" printed and that was our first of several mistakes to come. We were without practice anyways. Then the questions arrived. I read question A, Aditya read question B and Arth was reading question E. I realised question A was the 2D version of one of the online round questions and hence found it easy to code. By that time Arth had already started coding for question E. He made the code and ran it for some test cases, working! We thought, yeah! He submitted it! Wrong Answer! There it was staring at our faces! Then Aditya Jumped in and realised Arth had read the question wrong! I then saw that question G was being submitted pretty quickly so we went for it and submitted it at 27 or so minutes. Relief! Then I returned to testing the algorithm for A and Arth and Aditya tried to find a proper algorithm for E. We all spent more than an hour just trying to figure out the algorithm! Then I finally showed Aditya my algorithm, we then coded and submitted it. Wrong Answer! Aw man! Arth then read the question E again and then realised that they were reading it wrong entirely! The reaction that we had after Arth said it! We had spent 2.5 hours trying to solve a question that we had read wrong! We finally coded it properly and submitted it it finally was correct! Meanwhile I had found the trivial case for my algorithm in A and had moved to problem J as Arth was coding for E.
     The question seemed very simple to solve but turned out all our optimization algorithms were failing and we had 5 TLE submissions! The last one was 2 seconds before the end! At the end we ended up being 94th after solving 2 questions. We were not happy but the bigger realization dawned next! We had not submitted question A! I had found out the trivial case and made the necessary change! But since we were to occupied with E we made A wait and rest is history! Angry at ourselves we got out of the room, sulked for some time but then the closing ceremony started in came C J Hwang and we forgot about our performance!
    All in all we had a fun time at ICPC Amritapuri but next time we may go to Coimbatore or Kanpur for a change!