Knight's tour Warndorff's algorithm problem

Gabriel Genellina gagsl-py2 at yahoo.com.ar
Wed Mar 10 06:37:14 CET 2010


El 9 mar, 22:57, Robin Rytich escribió:

> I'm having some troubles with writing Knight's tour
> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight%27s_tour) solution in Python 3. I'm
> using Warnsdorff's algorithm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knight%
> 27s_tour#Algorithm) and I'm wondering why it doesn't work with boards of
> certain sizes. I've written a solution and I like it but it does not
> work correctly for 15x15, 26x26, 27x27 and 32x32 boards (don't know why;
> checked from 5x5 to 40x40).

Warnsdorff's algorithm is heuristic; it works most of the time, but in  
some cases leads to a dead end and you have to backtrack and try another  
alternative.
The starting square is important; if you start at 1,1 (instead of 0,0)  
your program finds a solution for all those problematic board sizes.

> So I'd be really glad if you tell me whether
> I am too stupid for Python or for Discrete Math? In other words, did I
> implemented Warnsdorff's algorithm in Python 3 correctly or maybe all my
> troubles are because I haven't read tutorial with enough patience?

Your implementation looks fine to me. Some comments on the code itself:

> class ChessBoard:
> 	
> 	size = 8   # Board square width and height.
> 	cell = []  # Embedded list of board cells.

This sets a class attribute (as opposed to normal, instance attributes)  
which is shared by all ChessBoard instances (this really should be covered  
in the FAQ!). You really want an instance attribute here: do `self.cell =  
[]` in __init__

> 	def __init__(self):
> 		
> 		import sys
> 		
> 		# Reading board size.
> 		
> 		if len(sys.argv) >= 2:
> 			self.size = int(sys.argv[1])

I would process command line arguments when the script starts, and supply  
size/x/y as parameters to the ChessBoard constructor. In other words, the  
caller must provide those parameters, it's not ChessBoard responsability  
to hunt for them.

> 		if (next != 0):
> 			(self.y, self.x) = (next.y, next.x)

All those six () are unnecessary.

Also, `next` might refer to integer 0 or a ChessBoardSquare instance.  
That's perfectly legal in Python, but *I* prefer to assign objects of the  
same type when using the same variable name. In this case, 0 is used only  
as a marker, any other non-ChessBoardSquare instance would do, and I'd  
substitute None instead.
(This is more than a stylistic whim: some JIT compiler may benefit from  
knowing the object type won't change)

> 	def printField(self):
> 		""" This function prints field to standart output.		for i in  
> range(self.size):
> 			for j in range(self.size):
> 				print(self.cell[i][j].status, end = '')
> 			print()

Instead of artificially iterate over the *indices* to finally reach the  
objects, you may directly iterate over the board squares:

		for row in self.cell:
			for square in row:
				print(square.status, end = '')
			print()

Later:

> 		applicants = [[y - 1, x - 2], [y - 1, x + 2],
> 		              [y + 1, x - 2], [y + 1, x + 2],
> 		              [y - 2, x - 1], [y - 2, x + 1],
> 		              [y + 2, x - 1], [y + 2, x + 1]]
>		result = []
> 		for applicant in applicants:
> 			if applicant[0] < 0 or applicant[0] >= self.size:
> 				continue
> 			if applicant[1] < 0 or applicant[1] >= self.size:
> 				continue
> 			if self.cell[applicant[0]][applicant[1]].status == 0:
> 				result.append(self.cell[applicant[0]][applicant[1]])

It would be better to use meaningful names instead of applicant[0],  
applicant[1] -- let me re-use y,x. We can write a more concise condition:

         result = []
         for y,x in applicants:
             if not 0 <= y < self.size:
                 continue
             if not 0 <= x < self.size:
                 continue
             if self.cell[y][x].status == 0:
                 result.append(self.cell[y][x])

Now, lets combine all those conditions into a single one:

         result = []
         for y,x in applicants:
             if 0 <= y < self.size and 0 <= x < self.size and  
self.cell[y][x].status == 0:
                 result.append(self.cell[y][x])

Finally, a code pattern like the above can always be rewritten as a list  
comprehension:

         result = [self.cell[y][x]
             for y,x in applicants
             if 0 <= y < self.size and 0 <= x < self.size and  
self.cell[y][x].status == 0
             ]

Apart from these points, your program looks fine to me. You even added  
function docstrings! (ok, they might be more informative, but at least  
they exist!)

-- 
Gabriel Genellina




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