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 Post subject: ITA Software Puzzle -- Movie ChainPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:28 pm
 Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
For those who haven't heard of ITA Software, they're a software company in the Boston area that employees puzzle billboards in order to find job applicants. They've also recently been acquired by Google (who has also employed puzzle billboards in the past). They're also a major employer of Lisp programmers. Anyways, this looks like a pretty interesting puzzle.

For increased clarity, I would recommend output that capitalizes all of the letters in adjoining words but leaves all other words in lowercase. For example, the example above would be written "live and let DIE another DAY of the DEAD poet's society". It would also help if you're output included the number of movies chained together (ie 4 above).

Is anyone interested in this problem? Let's say that we limit ourselves to IMDB and Netflix movie entries. Go!

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 Post subject: Re: ITA Software Puzzle -- Movie ChainPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:06 am
 Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
I should have included some hints for making this simpler for beginners...

1) Instead of actually going to the trouble of writing a web crawler or even downloading a list of movies from somewhere, use a much easier but equivalent notation like tuples of letters. For example, our letter database includes the following tuples... {aa ab ac ba bb bc ca cb cc}. Tuples can be chained together via first and last letter like aa-ab-bb-bc-cc-ca.

2) Understanding the problem. Using something like say a GRAPH... how original!!! =) ... we can start to visualize the problem. Every tuple is a vertex (eg aa) and there should be a directed edge from aa to every tuple/vertex that begins with an 'a' (except for 'aa' -- no self loops). Now that we can visualize the state space, what do we need to do to solve this problem?

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