X = a combination of individual counts
- Sum of risk levels of each low point
- Product of the size of the three largest basins
- A multi-line string
- A 100x100 square area
- Each location is a number between
- Each number represents an altitude
I solved this part of the challenge on the day it was released.
Setup: Split the file's contents into an array of strings Split each string into an array of characters Convert each character into a number 0-9 Create an array to collect low points Sub-routine to record a low point: Add the current number to the array of low points, only if: The minimum number among a list of numbers... ...is equal to the number at the current location... ...and the number in the last location... ...of the sorted and reversed list of numbers... ...is the number at the current location For each row in the grid For each cell in the row Through a series of nested if..else if..else clauses... ...call the sub-routine, passing in the appropriate amount of arguments, each referencing the correct adjacent cell values For each value in the collection of low points Update the value to itself plus one For each value in the incremented collection of low points Add the value to an accumulating sum of all previous values Return the final sum
Same setup: process input file into a 2D array of numbers Set risk level to 0 For each row in the grid For each cell in the row If the value in the cell is less than... ...the minimum number in a list of 2-4 numbers... ...resulting from a starting array of four relative coordinates (up one, left one, right one, down one)... ...updated to contain the values in each of the cells referenced by those relative coordinates... ...filtered to remove undefined values attained by references to cells that are out of boundary Increment risk level by the current cell's value plus one Return risk level
- I put into practice a slew of new coding tricks I learned from studying other solvers' code in prior challenges
- I resolved a silly mistake in my code that failed to omit cell values that were less than their adjacent cells' values
- I felt proud of the conciseness and eloquence of my code, especially as compared to Round 1
When it was originally released, I didn't even attempt to solve part 2.
That's because I was unable to understand what was happening in the example diagrams.
This time around - with careful analysis, and perhaps an improved eye for interpreting puzzle instructions - I understood how the size of each basin was determined.
Findin my browser with the query
9and my eyes to identify the largest basins and tally the sizes manually
- Write an algorithm that tallies each basin size after processing the entire grid area
Obviously, I felt motivated to solve it via #2.
21 AA 39 A
Given the input on the left, the algorithm should find a basin of size 3
219 AA 399 A 996 B
Given the input above, the algorithm should two basins: one of size 3, another of size 1
89876995 A BBB C 93987896 D BBB C 54598939 DDD B E 95999123 D EEE 89891019 F G EEE
Given the input above, the algorithm should seven basins with sizes: 1,7,2,5,7,1,1
9299999 A 9193939 A A A 9012349 AAAAA 9101999 AAA 9912329 AAAA 9999939 A
Given the input above, the algorithm should find a basin of size 17
And, of course, the example provided:
2199943210 AA BBBBB 3987894921 A CCC B BB 9856789892 CCCCC D B 8767896789 CCCCC DDD 9899965678 C DDDDD
Given the input above, the algorithm should four basins with sizes: 3,9,9,14
Create a unique set to track visited locations Create an empty list to track basin sizes For each row in the grid For each cell in the row If the cell's value is not 9, and its coordinates are not in the list of traversed cells: * For each of 2-4 cells above, left, right and below it: If the cell's value is 9: Return the locations visited along the way to this cell Else if the cell's value is 1 higher or lower than the source cell's value: Continue at * with the current list of visited locations Add to the list of basins: The size of the unique set of visited locations in the basin that this cell resides For each size in basins Sort the list of basins from largest to smallest Extract the largest three values Return the product of all three values
- Running my algorithm on each of the samples above produces the correct output: it found each basin and determined the size correctly
- Sadly, when I ran my algorithm on my input, the answer it generated was too low
- To diagnose, I searched for a large-looking basin in my output. I found one at the bottom. I counted the values. I ran my algorithm. I found a problem.
I solved it later the same day! See my revised notes below to learn how I stumbled upon - and resolved - my algorithm's error.
- I solved Part 1 a while ago
- At that time, I didn't understand Part 2 enough to even attempt it
- Now, I solved Part 1 with an algorithm 1/5 the original's size!
- I actually understand what's happening in Part 2
- I wrote an algorithm that generates the correct answer on several small example data sets
- I discovered an example basin that my algorithm doesn't properly compute, in case I ever want to come back and meticulously debug it
My reflection from before solving Part 2:
It's a bummer that I couldn't solve Part 2. I'm definitely proud of how much progress and practice this challenge offered me. Now, it's time to move on.
- I came back later the same day to investigate how my algorithm processed that basin
- I discovered a new truth about the numbers in the grid: they may not always change by 1 from cell to cell
- I removed parts of my code that were overly conditional
- I generated the correct answer for Part 2!
- Bonus: I made another simulator to show the low points and basins for any valid grid
My reflection from after solving Part 2:
Just kidding! It turns out, I couldn't let this puzzle go unsolved. Luckily, with a simple logging statement, I could see which locations my algorithm started from. Upon reviewing the first unexpected starting location, I noticed it was a difference of 2 from each of its adjacent cells. I assumed there was only ever a difference of 1. I removed that condition from my code. Viola! My algorithm now calculated the correct - larger - sizes of each basin...and thus determined the correct product of the three largest basins
What a huge relief, fantastic sense of closure, and an incredibly rewarding personal achievement!
Bonus for code golf fans: my final code for both solutions is only 40 lines.