Towards Improving Regional Contest Software Environment

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Towards Improving Regional Contest Software Environment


Andrew Ray
Maung M. Htay

Radford University
United States of America



In this paper, we at the Mid-Atlantic region describe our methodology for providing a competitive learning infrastructure for our regional contest. Our major contribution shows how to provide a pseudo-centralized contest using software meant for multi-site contests. We have found that there are major advantages to this methodology compared to our previous method—namely lower system administrator requirements. The only downside is that server-grade hardware is required for this approach. Our methodology allows for a standard PC^2 experience for the teams, and reduced the overhead necessary to create the infrastructure for our contest. After a post-mortem analysis of our methodology, along with our previous experience with automated testing systems, our second contribution in this paper was created-- a set of recommendations for a next generation of web-based contest software. By providing a web-based solution, systems administration effort will be drastically reduced. Our recommendations also provide for a seamless experience for students at the local, regional and world levels. Numerous web-based software testing and submission packages already exist, but most are not suited for multi-site contests. By providing these recommendations we hope to bring the type of system that the ACM worlds uses to the regional level. There are many challenges for creating a web-based contest system, and it will take time to reach the feature parity and polish that the current generation of PC^2 currently provides. However, our recommendations will help guide the process for a next generation competitive learning infrastructure.