Contest Ant Logo

The Seventh Antual ICFP Programming Contest

During the contest

Wouldn't si become too large after 100,000 rounds?
Please note that Section 2.10 "Number Theory" gives a mathematical description of the random numbers generator, not an implementation algorithm.

My random numbers generator agrees with yours, but my simulator traces diverge from yours after step nnn. Can your simulator have a bug?
The sample ant is very random, and certain situations in the ant world happen for the first time only well after the start of the game, so your first diverging round number nnn can be pretty large.

Where is the contest registration page?
There is no registration for the contest -- just submit your entry before the deadline. You can submit multiple times -- the last accepted entry is the one that will count.

How will announcements be made?
All announcements will be posted to the participants mailing list. Be sure to join it to receive these important messages. Especially important announcements will also be posted to the news page.

How do I contact the organizers directly?
Messages sent to will be received by the contest organizers.

Submission Format and Computing Resources

What will the submission format be?
Your entry to the contest will be a plain text file in a format that we will specify in the task description.

You may write your entry entirely by hand, or generate it using tools in a programming language of your choice; we will ask you to submit the source code for these tools (if any) along with your entry, and we will look at them for purposes of awarding the judges' prize, but we will not need to run your tools on our machines.

What character code should I use for my ant programs?
ASCII. Any of "\n" (LF), "\r\n" (CR + LF), or "\r" (CR) is OK for the end of a line. Each instruction line (including the last one) should end with one of them.

What kind of computing environment will be used to run and judge contest results?
All submissions will ultimately be judged using our own machines.

Do I need a supercomputer to win?
While we can't say for sure that having access to some big iron won't help, the contest task will be designed so that competitors without access to extraordinary resources can still win.

Internet Connection

Will I need my computer to be hooked up to the Internet for a long time?
No. You will need an Internet connection, but only for relatively short periods of time.

Will bandwidth/latency/reliability of the link matter?
It must work some of the time! But a dial-up modem will be fine.

My machine is behind a firewall. Will I be able to enter?
If you can read this page, your connection will work just fine.

Other questions

Is there going to be a 24-hour lightning division?
Yes. Teams may submit an entry by Saturday 5 June, 12:00 noon (EDT) for consideration in the 24-hour lightning division. Teams may enter both the lightning division and the regular competition.

How much does it cost to enter the contest?
Nothing! Participation in the contest is free. There is no registration fee.

What are the rules for programming teams?
We encourage everyone to enter! Teams may be individuals or groups of any size including faculty, students, and non-academics. There is one exception to this rule: the contest organizers are ineligible.

What will be the method for task access and result submission?
The task will be disseminated from this web site. Entries will be submitted over the Internet. The exact details will be included in the task description.

What format will the task description be in?
Postscript, PDF and HTML.

What will I need to read it?
Any web browser should do.

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