(UPDATE: Frequently Asked Questions on the task description.)
(UPDATE 18:40 GMT: We’re having trouble with the weather. See the spec extension)
(UPDATE 16:45 GMT Saturday: We’ve found a way to make the maps easier to navigate. See the spec extension)
(UPDATE 21:45 GMT Saturday: We’ve found some strange growths underground. See the spec extension)
(UPDATE 12:00 GMT Sunday: It looks like there are more Lambdas underground than we first thought. See the spec extension)
This year’s task is to implement a Lambda Lifter. If you’re familiar with the implementation of functional programming languages, you probably know what this is. If not, this is a Lambda:
And this is a Lambda Lifter:
Of course, to successfully lift Lambdas, you need to get them into the Lambda Lift:
The reason we need a Lambda Lifter is that the recent increase in popularity of functional languages and the rise in multicore and parallel programming has led to a worldwide shortage of Lambdas, with current models predicting we’ll run out by October. Fortunately, we have discovered a plentiful supply in the Lambda mines beneath the Lomond Hills, not far from St Andrews in Scotland. We have surveyed the mines, and have a number of maps. Your job is to implement a mining robot which will find the Lambdas and Lift them to the surface, using the maps as a guide.
For more details, see the full specification. There are now also some extensions:
Note that we are still working on the surveying equipment, and we may find some unexpected things underground as the contest progresses. We will let you know, via this web site and via email (once you have registered) if we find anything.
We have some sample maps:
We also have a validator so that you can check whether your implementation of the robot behaves according to our specification. We make no guarantees about the availability or efficiency of this validator, however – please be kind to it!
If you need to contact us during the contest, you can do any of the following:
- (Preferred) Send an email to
icfpcontest at cs dot st-andrews dot ac dot uk. Note that this is a mailman mailing list, including the organisers and anyone else interested. Anyone may post, and you may subscribe here.
Note that all messages are archived here – please check whether your question has already been answered before posting.
- Ask @icfpcontest2012 on Twitter. You can also use the hash tag
#icfpc, though asking directly will be more likely to get a speedy response.
- Ask on the
#icfp-contestIRC channel, on
At least one of the organisers should be available throughout the contest, though please be aware that we may be less responsive during UK night time!