Monday, February 13, 2017

Best Performance and Worst Performance

After the last blog, I participated in three contests: GP of Gomel (tourist's contest), SRM 708, and GP of China. The problems were very nice in all contests and I really enjoyed them. However, my performance was quite different: in SRM everything went very well and it was my best performance after the last TCO, but today I performed terribly (well, 17th in Open Cup is not bad, but given that the problems really suited me, it was terrible).

In SRM I was in a very strange situation. A few minutes before the end of the coding phase, I found that my solution may access to out-of-memory and fail. However, it worked on random tests and I decided not to resubmit - and luckily, it passed the systest!

In GP of Gomel, I solved seven tasks (B, D, F, G, H, J, K) quickly and I still had two hours to solve something else. In such situations, I usually read all problems and sort them by expected difficulties for me. The difficulty is estimated by the number of ACs (objective difficulty) and the topic (for example, I'm good at combinatorial/mathematical tasks, but bad at data structures). For me the topic is more important and after spending several minutes on each task I decided to concentrate on A and I because they looked the most interesting for me and no task was solved by many people - however I couldn't finish coding I in time and ended up with nothing.

In GP of China, after solving five tasks (B, E, F, G, J), I had more than 3 hours. Among the remaining tasks, I liked C/D the most and decided to spend 3 hours on them, but again ended up with nothing.

It seems I can quickly solve easy problems, but when the problems become harder I can't do anything. I seriously need to fix this tendency. Maybe I should try Div2 in next Open Cup? Anyway, I will upsolve at least four tasks (Gomel's AI, China's CD) in the near future and post here again. I believe I understood the solutions for these tasks now and they are indeed very nice.

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