UHunt - Hunt Problems that Matter

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uHunt - Hunt Problems that Matter

Felix Halim

The popularity of the competitive programming has been growing steadily over the years. Both newcomers and veterans practice regularly to keep their skills sharp. To meet the desires of these problem solvers, we need infrastructures such as online judges and novel problem sets to meet their intellectual challenge so that they don't lose the momentum.

While there are a number of existing infrastructures, in this talk we will focus on UVa online judge. UVa OJ is one of the earliest infrastructure the provides great collection of online problem sets. This collection continually grows as new programming contests are arranged. Currently, there are over 3600 problems available in UVa OJ and growing. While this is great to keep the veterans coming back for practice, newcomers can be overwhelmed with the vast number of problems.

At National University of Singapore, we extensively use UVa OJ to train our students for ACM ICPC. We have been analyzing a large fraction of the UVa problem sets and categorize them by types. We compiled a book that discuss popular problem types that are frequently occurs and uses UVa OJ problem sets as the programming exercises. We collaborate with the UVa team to build a tool, called uHunt, that keeps track of personal statistics of the problems that have been solved in the book's exercises as well as overall UVa OJ problems.

In this talk, we will give a demo on the new features of uHunt, the virtual contests and algorithm visualizations.

The virtual contests allow the users (or coaches) to select a number of (any) UVa problems, the contestants and contest durations and uHunt will generate a virtual contest that allows UVa users to compete among themselves with real time ranklist as in the real contests. We also provide "shadow" contestants so that the users can benchmark their performance against real (past) competitors. uHunt has been drawing more users to UVa OJ and we hope with the virtual contest features, it will increase more interactions between users and keep the problem solving momentum.

The algorithm visualizations is a separate project that will be integrated into uHunt soon. Now, the contestants can choose to learn the algorithm needed to solve a particular problem in visual manner. We believe such integration will keep contestants, especially the newcomers, to keep revisiting this uHunt tool and solve more problems in UVa online judge.

uHunt URL: http://uhunt.felix-halim.net/id/339

visualization URL: http://www.comp.nus.edu.sg/~stevenha/visualization/