[racket] Google Challenge

From: Marijn (hkBst at gentoo.org)
Date: Fri Nov 25 03:10:12 EST 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 24-11-11 18:42, Neil Van Dyke wrote:
> Matthias Felleisen wrote at 11/24/2011 10:12 AM:
>> Is the OO style required?
> I believe that OO style is *not* required, per vague statements
> and phrasing in 
> "https://github.com/aichallenge/aichallenge/wiki/Ants-Starter-Pack-Guide".
>  Looks like the hardest part of writing the starter kit is that the
> above page and 
> "https://github.com/aichallenge/aichallenge/wiki/Ant-bot-input-output"
are very poor as specification.  I suspect that the organizers' source
> code could be examined to answer key questions that the
> documentation does not (e.g., whether a cell in the grid
> representation they require can ever have more than one of {water,
> food, live ant, dead ant, hill}).
> (This is the point at which I switched from thinking "I'll just
> bang out a Racket library in an hour, and it will be fun," to "This
> would be a good little software archeology exercise for a student,
> teaching them ways that poor specification can waste time.")

I'd agree that the specification is a bit sub-optimal, but having read
all provided docs I do believe I have a firm understanding of the game
mechanics. Specifically to answer your questions:

*) water squares cannot be entered by ants, and nothing else can ever
share its space either.
*) food squars cannot be eneterd by ants, until they are harvested,
after which they become land/grass/plains/mud whatever the default
terrain term is and can be moved into (again).
*) ants can share the place of hills and actually spawn directly over
hills. If the ant doesn't move away, it will prevent further ants from
spawning on this hill, which may help you influence where ants spawn
in case of multiple hills.
*) dead ants are only informational AFAIUI and not real objects, so a
better way to interpret is IMO ``an ant died here, last turn''. So I
do believe that food could spawn in the same place. Another ant could
have moved to the same place in which case multiple dead ants would
appear in the same place (due to collision death). Finally the dead
ant could've been on a hill and in that case a new ant could be
spawned in its place too IIUC.
*) finally to the question of food on hills I don't know the answer. I
would philosophise that it is certainly possible to include this in
the game, but that the game would arguably be better if this couldn't
happen because otherwise hills would get blocked from spawning
periodically and an ant would have to come and eat the food to clear
the hill. But you can ask in the forum. My searches so far have not
turned up anything.

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