ICFP programming contest 2008

This year I organised another team from work for the ICFP programming contest. Our team, The Unchecked Exceptions, this year consisted of Chris, Jed, Tom and me.

I’ll write up a more thorough report once I recover from the lack of sleep, but I can safely say we all had a great time writing our Martian rover AI. Below are a couple of screenshots of our work that I took over the weekend.

We wrote a couple of different visualisation tools to help show different aspects of the Martian rover strategy. Our chosen method of detecting tangents of obstacles was quite easy to show in the different visualisations.

Another tool that helps with the analysis of our paths was watching the trails of objects, to chart our AI’s reaction to surrounding objects.

After making the AI work reasonably well, we discovered a surprising bug in our tangent calculation function. The graph below showed the problems.

Thanks to the competition organisers and my team mates – for me, it was definitely the most interesting competition so far!

I’ll write some more thorough notes about our algorithm and results in a couple of days.

Portrait of Matt Ryall

About Matt

I’m a technology nerd, husband and father of four, living in beautiful Sydney, Australia.

My passion is building software products that make the world a better place. For the last 15 years, I’ve led product teams at Atlassian to create collaboration tools.

I'm also a startup advisor and investor, with an interest in advancing the Australian space industry. You can read more about my work on my LinkedIn profile.

To contact me, please send an email or reply on Twitter.