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Subject: Re: Queue length
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2008 18:36:03 +0000 (UTC)
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"Nicholas Howe" <NikHow@hotmail.com> wrote in message 
> 
> It will be interesting to see if Alan's strategy is successful.  Given the large randomness effect in this contest, it's reasonable to expect that one of Alan's entries has a good chance of being best -- unless others have algorithms that are superior in some way, and also get lucky.
> 
> Personally I would be disturbed if this had happened during the middle of the contest, shutting down the queue while people were still working.  But since it comes at the end it doesn't really prevent others from developing their own entries.
> 

That's exactly why I waited until the very end to do this.  I realized early on this would be a reasonable technique to try and win the contest, but wanted to be considerate of what impact it would have on other people.

Just to let everyone know, I did indeed develop an automated submission program that would 'cycle through' a given variable in a solver.  I spent the morning going through all the previous day's entries and pulling out the top 1-2 leading entries, which I loaded into my program and setup to cycle through a given random threshold check.  I probably ended up with something like 20 different solver variations that had all previously performed well.  Each one I setup to cycle through a small range around the existing variable.  The reason for the random numbers in the entry titles instead of a sequential list is I didn't want someone to see what was going on and mess up my program by submitting entries with names that would conflict with the next numbers my program would submit.  Now it's just a waiting game to see if this pays off.