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Advent of Code 2016

Table of contents.

todo: convert this into a jupyter notebook and repost.

Notes for the Advent of Code 2016 programming challange.

Advent of Code is a series of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill levels. They are self-contained and are just as appropriate for an expert who wants to stay sharp as they are for a beginner who is just learning to code. Each puzzle calls upon different skills and has two parts that build on a theme.

I solved each puzzle in a jupyter notebook for each day saved in a github repo. The solutions are all a bit verbose as I'm trying to show all the steps taken to solve the puzzles.

General takeaways from 2016's advent of code:

notes on each puzzle:

Day 1: No Time for a Taxicab

path finding

I found the simple things like turning directions tougher than the bigger problem. So doing it in pieces really helped.

Day 2: Bathroom Security

move around a numpad

This problem had a diamond shaped keypad, so one way to move around the keypad was to have the shape of the keypad and move according, but it was much easier to use a dummy character to represent the off keypad points:


Key takeaway: use a char to demarcate edges, and try to write more general code - in this case my part 1 could only deal with a square numpad, but it was just as easy to code it up to deal with a numpad of any shape.

Day 3: Squares With Three Sides

simple math and slicing a grid. I used numpy for the win, basically use numpy if there is anything like a grid to deal with.

This involved using numpy slicing of a grid, which is always a bit tricky:

def transpose(tri):
    """generates all the column wise trianges in a list of triangles"""
    for i in range(len(t[0])):          # the columns, could just use 3 here
        for j in range(0, len(t)-2, 3): # now going down the entire length of the array
            yield t[j:j+3,i]

sum([is_tri(i) for i in transpose(t)])

Day 4: Security Through Obscurity

Nothing interesting here,just following directions, a few notes:

Day 5: How About a Nice Game of Chess?

find a password. I used hashlib, was an interesting problem since I used hashlib for the first time.

I liked this bit of code:

password = [False for _ in range(8)]

while False in password:
  # fills in one letter of the password

Day 6: Signals and Noise

Day 7 | move around a numpad | used both numpy and lists. Key takeaway: use a char to demarcate edges Day 8 | simple math and slicing a grid | numpy for the win, basically use numpy if there is anything like a grid to deal with. Day 9 | ? | use Counter and namedtuples Day 10 | parsing instructions | was a challange to fully comprehend the problem, though easy to code. Day 11 | building the right kind of graph with breadth first search | solved part 1 using a dumb BFS, but part two the search space is so big that I need to optimize. #TODO Day 12 | parse instructions to update registers | sort of like building a vm? Day 13 | build a map and find a path | used bfs, easy enough, but need to implement a generic path solver. its got pics too! Day 14 | find a password | used hashlib, was an interesting problem Day 15 | solve a system | find positions of a moving system at time t. Could have used math instead. Day 16 | find a password | used hashlib, was an interesting problem Day 17 | Get shortest, than longest path | looked similar to day 13, but different.

Note: link jupyter notebooks and highlight the interesting part of each days challange.

posted , updated
tagged: python View on: github