After a pretty nice result in the previous Jakarta site, we tried another ICPC regional contest this year. Our choice was Kuala Lumpur site, because when we finally decided to take another regionals, it was only this site that still opened the registration.
Well, it was our first time to compete as a foreign team in a regional contest. The atmosphere should be different, of course. This was our last hope to advance to World Finals this year.
We had a silly problem during the check-in in Soekarno-Hatta airport. Alham’s passport expiration time was no more than six months to go. It meant that he couldn’t go abroad with us! Well, even the coach wasn’t aware of this six-month-rule before we prepared the departure.
So, unfortunately we left Alham to Kuala Lumpur. He then went home to extend his passport. The process, magically, finished in only a few hours on the next day. He arrived in the hotel the night before the contest proper.
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) became the host of this contest. When I first saw this university, it was like a large mosque with nice and classic architecture.
This contest was participated by 68 teams, with 35 foreign teams and 33 local (Malaysian) teams. There were only 3 Indonesian teams: Saklar Lhompat (us), inspanning from Parahyangan University, and Love from BINUS University.
The practice session (or what they called ‘mock-up test’) didn’t run very well. First, the username and password for this session was the table number, so a team can log in with another team’s id (and this indeed happened). So I randomly picked a number and logged in.
They also used an outdated PC^2 as the grader. When I tried to submit a solution, the grader didn’t respond. Almost all teams experienced the buggy grader, too. The rules also weren’t explained very well, especially the printing rule (we had to tell the runner which code we printed).
So, the organizers decided to setup another practice session before the contest proper. The new practice session was much better than the previous one. They updated the PC^2, explained the missing rules, etc. When all teams were satisfied, the contest began. The contest was delayed for almost 2.5 hours!
The problemset were created and judged by many international judges. Two of them are World Finals judges, Shahriar Manzoor and Derek Kisman. There were 10 problems, which I think are more interesting and harder than the Jakarta site’s.
There are 2 bonus problems, problem A and problem B. Even problem B is just a simple IF’s problem (if input is this then output that). Problem C, H, and I are pretty standard DP problems. Problem F is also a DP problem, but we mistakenly used maxflow approach when trying to solve it (finally we failed to get it AC). Problem D is about graph 2-coloring. There are 2 geometry problems, problem G and J, which we didn’t solve. The killer mathematical problem, problem H, was solved only by one team, the champion.
We solved 6 out of 10 problems in this contest, worse than the previous regionals. Apparently, we wasted much time trying to debug problem F with incorrect algorithm, and figuring out the correct answer checker for problem G’s binary search.
Aside from that, we achieved a very good accuracy in solving the problems. We needed 6 submissions to solve 6 problems, which means all problems we solved were one-shot-AC.
We ranked #12 in the final result. Here are the top 3 teams:
- ManiAC, Chinese University of Hong Kong
- NTU Pigeons, Nanyang Technological University
- HKUST_Optimus Prime, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
So, we failed to advance to World Finals in our first year in university. But we’re not too disappointed, too. We got many experiences and strategies to develop for the next year 🙂
The Asia Contest Director, C J Hwang, attended the closing ceremony and delivered a closing speech. He was very attractive in his speech.
This time, it was Derek Kisman [SnapDragon] who became a star during the closing ceremony. Almost all teams wanted to take photos with him!