April 22, 2017 Time is Running Out! TCO17 Marathon Round 1 Ends in 4 Days
Marathon Round 1 runners are approaching the finish line. The match is a hard one, because of the task. The task asks you to plot out an undirected weighted graph on a 2D plane. I would like to further elaborate on it here, but let us do that after the match ends, so that the rules are obeyed. I’m calling this task hard because of the score distribution on the leaderboard. It is clear that constructing even a trivial solution that scores non-zero requires some effort. I initially considered skipping this round — because I could not find a reasonable solution, or implement it the proper way.
The match started with wleite reaching half of the maximum score on the first day. Psyho followed, submitting a 0.786 average-scoring solution on the second day of the match. The next and current leader chokudai submitted his impressive solution on April 17th. Many competitors followed, submitting reasonable solutions — perhaps utilizing the same key idea as the leaders. Strategically, I suppose that this time it is important to get more tournament points while losing as little mental power as possible. The psychological burnout may reflect negatively on the future matches. On the other hand, not improving a solution now may cost too much later on in Rounds 2 and 3.
The structure of the tournament this year suggests that in order to get on-site, one needs to do well in each one of the 3 online rounds. Thus, skipping any of the rounds is not desirable if you are into the complete deal. The absolute scoring allows you to measure your solution locally and compare to rivals without submitting, so use it wisely.
Last but not least, do not plan to submit in the last minute or in the last hour. You may get a time-out bug or something, and have no opportunity to resubmit. Also, check whether the queue is stuck before submitting an example solution at the end of the match, as it may prevent you from delivering a full submission. This is because only one of your submissions — either example or full — can be in the queue at any moment.