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Sweep Techniques

 
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alanr555



Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 194
Location: Bideford Devon EX39

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 11:43 pm    Post subject: Sweep Techniques Reply with quote

One of the other sites includes a facility to "sweep" the puzzle to produce
the solution grid at that point - based on resolved cells.

The solution grid is then pasted into the cells at top left and (the good part)
the resultant "marks" are included in the printed output.

It would be an improvement to the Daily Sudoku if this facility were to be
included as an option - along with the Medium/Large print. This would save
the tedious job of compiling the initial solution grid based on the "given"
values as set by the compiler.

There would still be the task of maintaining the grid during solution but
this should be much easier knowing that the initial version is correct and
then only "crossing out" is required to progress a solution.

I tried it on a couple of puzzles set on the other site and it was quite a
different experience having the solution grid present at the start. Thus
appearance of the grid should be optional.

Of the two puzzles that I attempted on the other site, one got into a loop
with two sets of non-linked pairs. When two rows each have seven cells
resolved and the remaining two with the same two possible numbers in
the same pair of columns, there is no means of resolution. I did not like
that and am pleased that Daily Sudoku has never led to such a situation
in the puzzles that I have attempted.

Alan Rayner BS23 2QT
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samgj
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Sweep Techniques Reply with quote

alanr555 wrote:
One of the other sites includes a facility to "sweep" the puzzle to produce
the solution grid at that point - based on resolved cells.

The solution grid is then pasted into the cells at top left and (the good part)
the resultant "marks" are included in the printed output.

It would be an improvement to the Daily Sudoku if this facility were to be
included as an option - along with the Medium/Large print. This would save
the tedious job of compiling the initial solution grid based on the "given"
values as set by the compiler.


Hi Alan

I'm sorry -- I'm undoubtably being dumb, but I don't understand quite what you mean. Perhaps if you point me at the "other site" I can take a look. It sounds like you're talking about some kind of helper application that does what people seem to think is the tedious part of solving.

(For me this removes rather than adds to enjoyment, as it seems a little akin to having a program provide all the possible words that could fit in 3 down in a crossword, given that the word is 5 letters starting with a and ending in p! Having said that, a javascript app to allow filling in online with hints etc has long been on my wishlist, and might well come along some day.)

Sam
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David Bryant



Joined: 29 Jul 2005
Posts: 559
Location: Denver, Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Sweep Techniques Reply with quote

alanr555 wrote:
... When two rows each have seven cells
resolved and the remaining two with the same two possible numbers in
the same pair of columns, there is no means of resolution. ...

Alan Rayner BS23 2QT


Just to be sure I follow you, Alan -- you're saying there were exactly two possible solutions to the puzzle on that other site, right?

I agree with you -- a Sudoku puzzle should have a unique solution. dcb
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alanr555



Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 194
Location: Bideford Devon EX39

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> I don't understand quite what you mean. Perhaps if you point me at
> the "other site" I can take a look.

It is one of the sites on your links page. I note that the number of links
does increase over time but I do not record which I take.

> It sounds like you're talking about some kind of helper application that
> does what people seem to think is the tedious part of solving.

Yes. The other site uses it for real-time updating of the solution and
includes checks that one does not enter incorrect digits. I am NOT asking
for that sort of assistance. We have the excellent step solver to use when
we get stuck.

> (For me this removes rather than adds to enjoyment, as it seems a
> little akin to having a program provide all the possible words that could
> fit in 3 down in a crossword, given that the word is 5 letters starting
> with a and ending in p!

Exactly - but with two differences.

1) The facility would default to OFF but could be switched on only at the
initial printing/download of the grid as supplied (or entered in drawer).

2) The facility would NOT update the solution grid after the initial print or
download. Thus the user would STILL have the fun/joy/chore etc of
maintaining the solution grid to reflect the position after each new
digit has been resolved.

The benefit is that it saves having to work out the exclusions arising from
whatever initial values are given (akin to supplying a word list if the
crossword has any letters given when published but as most have a
blank grid, this does not apply!)

Subsequently the user will need to "cross off" impossible values - but
will be spared the task of compiling the list of possibles for each cell.
Of course the other method is to print 123456789 in small typeface at
the head of each cell! Perhaps we need three values for the 'pul-down'
combo-box for this option "None" (the default), Std Marks (the 123456789
in each cell) and "Sweep" (shewing just the remaining possibles at the
outset).

I have found that an error in compiling the solution grid (impossible for
the computer but easy for frail mortals!) spoils the enjoyment of using
the logical deduction processes. Thus getting the computer to do the
initial work (which can take several minutes of human application) has
the potential to enhance the enjoyment by allowing concentration on the
logic skills rather than the initial set-up of the solution grid. Subsequent
maintenance of the grid is, in my opinion, part of the logic process.

Incidentally, the step solver takes an age to transfer all the "given" digits
from the input grid to the solution grid. If the initial value is 7 say, only
ONE step should be needed to set all the solution grid cells to the initially
given values. Admittedly the solver generally sets such values first BUT
it sometimes goes off a deductive reasoning path BEFORE it has set ALL
the initial values. This can be annoying when my use of the solver is to
check my "chore" workings of the "no-brainer" solution grid. Of course, I
would not need to use the step solver for such cases if there were an
option to apply a sweep before the download/print!

Thank you for an excellent product. It is a mark of user appreciation
when users suggest enhancements. If they did not like the basic
concepts, they would just ignore things like possible enhancments.

Alan Rayner BS23 2QT
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samgj
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alanr555 wrote:
>
Subsequently the user will need to "cross off" impossible values - but
will be spared the task of compiling the list of possibles for each cell.
Of course the other method is to print 123456789 in small typeface at
the head of each cell! Perhaps we need three values for the 'pul-down'
combo-box for this option "None" (the default), Std Marks (the 123456789
in each cell) and "Sweep" (shewing just the remaining possibles at the
outset).


OK -- I understand what you mean. Shouldn't be too hard, but I need to think about how and where to add this so as to keep everything as clean as possible in terms of UI clutter.

alanr555 wrote:
>
Thank you for an excellent product. It is a mark of user appreciation
when users suggest enhancements. If they did not like the basic
concepts, they would just ignore things like possible enhancments.


Absolutely -- such suggestions are taken very much in the manner in which you intend!

Sam
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samgj
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Jul 2005
Posts: 106
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Sweep Techniques Reply with quote

alanr555 wrote:
One of the other sites includes a facility to "sweep" the puzzle to produce
the solution grid at that point - based on resolved cells.


I finally got this done in the draw/play page (the sweep button). They don't show up in the printout, but that'll come.

Sam
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