The ICPC Challenge is an effort to continue to offer the kinds of visual, interactive, competitive programming problems popularized by previous offerings of the Java Challenge. Teams implement player code that competes with other teams' players in a game-like simulation. A tournament among the players determines the winner.
The 2013 world finals will feature a brand new challenge problem. As usual, teams will get two weeks to work on this problem, June 3 - June 16. We call this period the coding phase for the challenge. At the start of the UTC day on June 3, teams will be able to download a binary package including this year's challenge game, example players and documentation. During the coding phase, teams will be able to develop and refine their players, submit them to ICPC and compete against other team's players in preliminary matches. At the end of the UTC day on June 16, we'll save the final version of every team's players and run a head-to head tournament as part of the ICPC World Finals events at Saint Petersburg, Russia.
For several years, the ICPC and ACM Queue magazine worked together to offer a version of the challenge that everyone enjoy, the Queue ICPC Challenge. This contest used a modified version of the previous year's ICPC challenge problem and was open to anyone who wanted to participate. We weren't able to offer a Queue ICPC Challenge in 2013, but we're working to offer other contests that are open to anyone who wants to join in.
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For the 2012 ICPC World Finals, we offered the ICPC Bumper Boat Rally. Teams developed programs that would pilot their boats around an aquatic course. Players didn't know what the shape of the course would be or what their fleet of boats would be like until the start of the match. See the 2012 ICPC Challenge Page for a more detailed description of the problem and the winners. You can also watch videos of the tournament and even try out the problem yourself.
The 2011 ICPC finals featured an ICPC Challenge problem called coercion. Teams developed a program to try to claim territory on a map by pushing around markers and then using these to convert map regions to their own color. See the 2011 ICPC Challenge Page for a description of the problem and the winners. You can also check out preliminary standings from the coding phase of the competition and see the results of the final tournament. You can even watch videos of the matches. If you want to try the problem for yourself, you can download the game binary and write your own player.
The 2010 ICPC finals featured an ICPC Challenge problem appropriate to the February weather in Harbin, China. Teams developed a program to control a group of children in a snow-covered field. See the 2010 ICPC Challenge Page for a description of the problem and the winners.
The 2009 ICPC finals featured an offering of the ICPC Challenge. The 2009 ICPC Challenge Page describes the challenge problem from that year and gives the preliminary standings from the coding phase of the competition. You can see the results of the final tournament and even watch videos of the matches. If you want to try the problem for yourself, you can download the game binary and write your own player.
If you are excited about helping out with the ICPC Challenge, or if you have questions, please contact the ICPC Challenge director, David Sturgill ().