Problem solving encompasses a number of techniques known as algorithms, heuristics, root cause analysis, etc.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

46
votes
12answers
6k views

What programming language generates fewest hard-to-find bugs? [closed]

What language, in your opinion, allows the average programmer to output features with the least amount of hard-to-find bugs? This is of course, a very broad question, and I'm interested in very broad ...
0
votes
7answers
327 views

How to avoid errors and not miss anything [duplicate]

I have a problem that is more serious than it might seem. I've been programming for about three years , and I have learned and improved a lot , I read the code easily to others, understand the ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Summarizing set of parameters with different weights

Not sure if this is the right place to ask this, I tried maths.stackexchange.com but didn't get much response, so I'm going to try my luck here. I've an educational game which teaches several ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

How to avoid jumping to a solution when under pressure? [closed]

When under a particularly strict programming deadline (like an hour), if I panic at all, my tendency is to jump into coding without a real plan and hope I figure it out as I go along. Given enough ...
4
votes
3answers
184 views

How do you deal when an error occurs on 1 instance of your website/program/app?

I've had a couple of times in the time I've working, moments when I get an error ocurring in just 1 computer and it often takes me hours or days to figure out because it is (or at least seems) an ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

Recognize bug or inability to solve a problem by yourself

How to recognize when there is a bug in program or you have an inability to solve concrete problem? I noticed when I concentrate too much time on a problem and can't find a solution, I am starting to ...
9
votes
4answers
544 views

What programming problems do Monads solve? [closed]

I've read a lot of posts that explain what monads are, how unit and bind work, some of them plunging straight into category theory so abstract (for me at least) that makes the eyes bleed, some ...
54
votes
15answers
7k views

Dealing with frustration when things don't work [closed]

You ever try to implement something simple but for some strange reason it doesn't work. So you try a possible solution but then something else doesn't work. You keep trying different workarounds but ...
1
vote
2answers
182 views

How do I have a group of numbers which total does not exceed a limit, and each number must be >= 0?

Suppose I have an array of n numbers. The rules for the array is as below: All the numbers must add up to 1000 If a number changes (positive or negative), all the other numbers in the array must be ...
43
votes
12answers
3k views

Is thinking out loud during an interview really the best strategy? [closed]

In another question I asked recently about best practices for whiteboarding, there was general consensus that thinking out loud while coming up with the answer was the best strategy. Indeed, long ...
29
votes
13answers
7k views

Is “White-Board-Coding” inappropriate during interviews? [closed]

This is a somewhat subjective quesiton but I'd love to hear feedback/opinions from either interviewers/interviewees on the topic. We split our technical interview into 4 parts. Write Code, Read & ...
1
vote
1answer
339 views

Questions about the issue of getting stuck in a problem, and making snail's pace progress [closed]

Let me describe my background. I am currently a software developer co-op working at an architecture firm that has a large focus on research and development, mainly in mathematical modeling and ...
18
votes
5answers
903 views

Algorithm for calculating a bullet path to a target with max. 2 ricochets

Sorry for the poor title but I didn't have a better way to phrase it... So there's this amazing game by Nintendo (yes!) on Wii called WiiPlay. There're 9 minigames in it, and my favorite one is ...
5
votes
1answer
402 views

Does anybody recognize this scheduling problem? Is there an algorithm for it?

Consider the following problem: Description: There are n jobs J1...Jn with cycle times C1....Cn. Find a time quantum and a scheduling table considering that: any element of the table contains at ...
2
votes
3answers
473 views

shadow simulation from buildings

Is it possible to calculate shadow areas of buildings or simulate shadows of buildings in a city, using the heights of these buildings and the sun angle and azimuth? The basic light tracing concept ...
-2
votes
1answer
209 views

Pairing 40 people over 20 days such that no pair is the same twice or more [duplicate]

I'm trying to figure out what algorithm / method I can use to figure out how to pair people together such that the pairs aren't repeated i.e. if a unique individual is denoted by Px where x is their "...
1
vote
1answer
241 views

Increment or double problem

I have a problem with an assignment. In this assignment I have to create a program which needs to calculate how many different possibilities are there to get from number a to b. To get from a to b you ...
0
votes
0answers
151 views

scrabble solving with maximum score

I was asked a question You are given a list of characters, a score associated with each character and a dictionary of valid words ( say normal English dictionary ). you have to form a word ...
0
votes
1answer
157 views

Estimed number of tries

Problem: The Oscar Committee wants to decide which person should get the best actor award among the given N actors.For that they decided to use a random function random_bit() which returns either 0 ...
0
votes
1answer
594 views

Turn over cards in minimum number of steps

Imagine you're given an array of cards. Some of them are facing down (0), while some of them are facing up (1). Is it possible for given fixed K to turn all the cards face-up by turning over any K ...
1
vote
0answers
252 views

Karger's algorithm for bin-packing?

I first came across that algorithm as the "Random minimum cut" algorithm. And recently a colleague was trying to pack a big quantity of small textures into one image file. Then it clicked - why not ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Genetic Algorithm's Tournament Selection limit to be selected

I started working again on a Genetic Algorithm and i'm trying a lot of operators and ways of selection. When I made the Tournament Selection , I noticed that it gets really easy to always get the top ...
12
votes
10answers
736 views

Why does not thinking about a bug sometimes help you solve it? [closed]

Yesterday I spent a good part of the afternoon trying to fix a bug, which I thought to be trivial. I was going around in circles, not having a clue what was wrong. Rewriting large parts of the code. ...
-1
votes
2answers
181 views

How do developers deal with “where to start” problem in a context of overwhelming difficulties caused by too much heterogeneous information? [closed]

A friend of mine, a beginner PHP programmer, needs to link the product his company develops with a third-party product (a set of web services). He received the "relevant" documentation (a few hundred ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Ranking players depending on decision making during a game

How would I go about a ranking system for players that play a game? Basically, looking at video games, players throughout the game make critical decisions that ultimately impact the end game result. ...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

Solving a probabilistic problem

So I am interested in Computational Investing and came across this problem on a wiki page: Write a program to discover the answer to this puzzle:"Let's say men and women are paid equally (from ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Setting permissions issue for admins and lower users in project

I am working in a jsp project an got stuck in a big problem. My project consist of accounts table for super admin, reseller, admin and users for executives and manager mapped in the account ...
2
votes
2answers
144 views

What do you call a problem caused by a design flaw [closed]

Is there any terminology for a problem that is caused by a previous wrong decision? For example you build your own framework, with a flawed MVC design. This in turn leads to weird situations when ...
3
votes
3answers
670 views

Genetic Algorithm new generation exponentially increasing

I'm programming Genetic Algorithm in C++ and after searching all kind of ways of doing GA'a operators (selection, crossover, mutation) I came up with a doubt. Let's say I have an initial population ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Automatically analyze excel files

I have to replicate a manual generation of a large number of excel files. I started to manually track the relations between cells ( files, formulas, etc). I also had a talk with the person which ...
1
vote
4answers
307 views

Optimistic & Pessimistic Programming - Ensuring multiple tasks are called only once for specific record

Let's say you have 10 database records which you need to process in the following way: Start Pull 2 records from the database with the 'Processed' flag set to 'false' Call the external web service ...
51
votes
26answers
66k views

How can I improve my problem-solving ability?

Everyone says the same thing: "a real programmer knows how to handle real problems." But they forget how they learned this ability or where: it's not taught in schools. What can I do to improve my ...
-2
votes
1answer
175 views

Permutations of an array [closed]

I have an array of integers of length 20, filled with fourteen 0s, two 1s, two 2s and two 3s. It is like this: [0,0,0,3,0,2,0,0,3,0,0,0,1,0,2,0,0,1,0,0]. I need a way to list all of its 20!/(14! 2! 2!...
1
vote
3answers
508 views

Are problem-solving programming questions useful for improving one's general programming ability?

For example, like: The inaugural International Olympiad in Frogleaping is being held in Australia in 2013 and you are determined to win. While you want nothing to do with such slimy, jumpy ...
2
votes
1answer
351 views

Programming puzzle with constant selection

THE QUESTION: There is an event where there are N contestants. There are three tasks in the event: A,B,C (say). Each participant takes part in the events in the listed order: i.e a contestant must ...
12
votes
10answers
1k views

How to learn/become capable of thinking out of the box? [closed]

In every problem solving there's always people who think differently, who come with a 6th option when only 5 were suggested by others, who think "out of the box". Please tell how one can achieve such ...
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Best way to break down overwhelming code into manageable chunks?

I'm continually becoming overwhelmed by large projects, once they reach a certain level of complexity. Once I reach a certain point in a project, my progress slows to a crawl and I find myself ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How to save during real-time collaboration

I want multiple users to edit same document. Problem I'm facing is when a new user joins, he might see an outdated document. How do I make sure that new users get most recent changes? Some solutions ...
4
votes
3answers
556 views

How to detect root cause of problem or bug [closed]

Often in coding, I find it very slow and difficult to detect the root cause of a bug and sometimes I end up going to wrong point in my code. It's painful. I know that to detect the root cause of a bug ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

How to handle conflicts between developers in your team? [closed]

This is happening in every team. For some reasons, conflicts arise in the team and they affect the overall motivation and productivity. What is your recommended approach to solve that common problem?...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Idea of the binary search main theorem

This link really provided some insights into the idea that binary search implications into the optimization problems by giving the main theorem. I am not really confident that I get the idea of the ...
-3
votes
1answer
686 views

Any tips in tackling extremely complex problems like the Hanoi Tower problem? [closed]

People often give me the "divide and conquer" tip, but I think for some problems it's not nearly enough. The problem with such a complex problem as the Hanoi Tower problem is that you can't even ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

In an interview, is it better to code a brute-force solution to a tough question, or to spend the interview examining the question carefully? [closed]

Sometimes interview questions are hard, whether the interviewer intends them to be, or not. It can come down to a choice of whether to use the limited interview time to code up an ugly, inefficient, ...
0
votes
2answers
297 views

Help to simplify/model complex decision making (if, then, else scenarios)

I find my self in a situation, where I need to program a service, that can determine if two object in a huge database are the same. For simplicity, let's say it's used cars, and I want to determine if ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

algorithm for project euler problem no 18

Problem number 18 from Project Euler's site is as follows: By starting at the top of the triangle below and moving to adjacent numbers on the row below, the maximum total from top to bottom is 23. 3 ...
6
votes
3answers
321 views

Should I fix small issues or let them go? [closed]

I ran into the following issue where a keyboard shortcut I was used to was no longer working in Ubuntu. That's just an example. For programming, this kinds of thing happens a lot, but it also happens ...
15
votes
6answers
693 views

When to prefer a generalized solution over solving specific cases

In programming we're often faced with a choice: cover each conceivable use case individually, or solve the general problem: Its obvious that solving the immediate problem is faster, however ...
2
votes
1answer
656 views

Sublinear Extra Space MergeSort

I am reviewing basic algorithms from a book called Algorithms by Robert Sedgewick, and I came across a problem in MergeSort that I am, sad to say, having difficulty solving. The problem is below: ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Calculating 3d rotation around random axis

This is actually a solved problem, but I want to understand why my original method didn't work (hoping someone with more knowledge can explain). (Keep in mind, I've not very experienced in 3d ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Steps to create a solution for a problem

I am a trainee. According to my teacher to solve a problem we should go through following steps: Create Algorithm (optional) Create a Datatable: By analyzing the problem, create main concepts in ...