This area plot shows how the total number of entries grew throughout the course of the seven-day contest. You're looking at more than 3400 different solutions to a single problem. This cooperative competition resulted in an extraordinarily efficient winning solution.
EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands. - (19 jan 2010)
• The MathWorks today announced the results of its 20th online programming contest, open to MATLAB programmers around the world.
• Alfonso Nieto-Castañón, a PhD in cognitive and neural systems, was the winner of the programming challenge posed by The MathWorks on MATLAB Central, an online open exchange for the MATLAB and Simulink user community.
• The challenge, titled “Color Bridge,” was a path finding problem that required MATLAB users to create the most efficient path of colored squares to connect two points. Making the challenge considerably more difficult, each of the squares was assigned a point value, and the winning program needed to find a path that resulted in the lowest number of total points.
• The online programming contest is both competitive and collaborative; Nieto-Castañón’s winning entry was a successful collaboration among many programmers, as participants continually built on and improved upon others’ submissions.
• Winning entry details: Nieto-Castañón ran a set of alternative search algorithms on every board. The algorithms assessed three basic measures: the true cost associated with a given color change; the distance to target measure, representing the minimal number of color changes necessary to reach the target at any step of the search; and the number of clusters of each color remaining in the board. His final, winning entry implemented five alternative search algorithms, each with up to three possible variations (when avoiding one color all together).
• MATLAB Central Programming Contests are held online semi-annually by The MathWorks for its 1.3 million active MATLAB users. Each contest presents a different problem to be solved within the course of a week. The MathWorks contest server automatically tests and scores each entry for correctness and efficiency. All code entered in the contest is immediately made available to all the contestants, giving it a distinctive wiki-like open source flavor.
MATLAB, contest, programming challenge
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