 by Pawan Mishra

### Tags

1. Day 1: No Time for a Taxicab
1. Not So Functional Solution
2. Somewhat Better(Functional) Solution
2. Day 2: Bathroom Security
3. Day 3: Squares With Three Sides

I recently came across this site called Advent Of Code which lists set of problems in increasing order of complexity. If you are like me, trying to learn new programming language(in my case it’s Scala), then solving handful of such problems will greatly expedite your learning process.

If you find Advent Of Code problems difficult then you can try 99 Problems. Problems are grouped in easy, medium & difficult category & are backed by well implemented solutions.

Spoiler: If you haven’t solved the problem on your own then I would highly recommend giving it a try once. Remember : first solve the problem then solve it properly.

### Day 1: No Time for a Taxicab

Given below is the working but not so good solution for Day 1: No Time for a Taxicab problem.

#### Not So Functional Solution

``````case class Movement(direction: String, length: Int)
val input = "R4, R4, L1, R3"
var position = (0,0)
val coordinates = input.split(", ").map(x => Movement(x.charAt(0).toString, x.substring(1).toInt)).toList

def findDistance(data: List[Movement]): Unit = {

val visited = scala.collection.mutable.Stack[(Int, Int)]((0,0))

def newDirection(currentDirection: String, movement: Movement): String = {
currentDirection match {
case "C" => if(movement.direction.equalsIgnoreCase("R"))
{
position = (position._1 + movement.length, position._2)
"E"
}
else
{
position = (position._1 - movement.length, position._2)
"W"
}
case "N" => if(movement.direction.equalsIgnoreCase("R")) {
position = (position._1 + movement.length, position._2)
"E"
} else {
position = (position._1 - movement.length, position._2)
"W"
}
case "E" => if(movement.direction.equalsIgnoreCase("R")) {
position = (position._1, position._2 - movement.length)
"S"
} else {
position = (position._1, position._2 + movement.length)
"N"
}
case "W" => if(movement.direction.equalsIgnoreCase("R")) {
position = (position._1, position._2 + movement.length)
"N"
} else {
position = (position._1, position._2 - movement.length)
"S"
}
case "S" => if(movement.direction.equalsIgnoreCase("R")) {
position = (position._1 - movement.length, position._2)
"W"
} else {
position = (position._1 + movement.length, position._2)
"E"
}
}
}

def updateVisited(position: (Int, Int)): Unit = {
val top = visited.top

val coordinates = if (top._1 == position._1) {
val rangeBy = if (top._2 > position._2) -1 else 1
for (i <- top._2 to position._2 by rangeBy) yield (top._1, i)
}
else {
val rangeBy = if (top._1 > position._1) -1 else 1
for (i <- top._1 to position._1 by rangeBy) yield (i, top._2)
}

for(i <- coordinates.tail) {
val exists = visited.exists(x => x._1 == i._1 && x._2 == i._2)

if (exists)
println(math.abs(i._1) + math.abs(i._2))
else
visited.push(i)
}
}

def walk(data: List[Movement], direction: String): Unit = {
data match {
val newPosition = newDirection(direction, head)
updateVisited(position)
walk(tail, newPosition)
case _ => println(math.abs(position._1 - 0) + math.abs(position._2 - 0))
}
}

walk(data, "C")
}

findDistance(coordinates)
``````
##### Discussion

• Movement case class is for representing each move. It contains two field. One for representing the direction & other the movement length.
• position is mutable tuple & it represents the x & y coordinate. It’s used for tracking the current position.
• coordinates is initialized by splitting the input variable & then mapping those splitter values into individual Movement case class instance.
• findDistance function contains nested function : newDirection, updateVisited & walk function. It’s common pattern in functional programming to nest functions inside another function. In our case, we are only concerned in exposing function which takes coordinates as input & calculating the final distance. Instead of writing one monolithic function block, its good practice to break down the work in smaller chunks & compose the functions together.
• newDirection function accepts movement & current direction of movement & determines the updated direction post movement. It also updates the position mutable tuple variable.
• updateVisited is used for solving 2nd part of the problem. I will not go into the detail of this function.
• walk function combines the other function & recursively invokes the newDirection & updateVisited function in solving the problem.
• In the end of findDistance function, I invoke walk function with initial seed data i.e. list of movements & station position which is Center(“C”).
##### Problems

• Use of mutable position variable. Mutability is not much appreciated in functional programming world.
• Exceedingly lengthy newDirection function. Repetitive assignment & modification of position variable.
• Hard to read & modify solution.

In the below solution, I have modified the newDirection function by breaking down the code re-usable chunks of small functions. As you will see below, the new code is much more readable & short.

#### Somewhat Better(Functional) Solution

``````case class Movement(direction: String, length: Int)
val input = "R4, R4, L1, R3, L5, R2, R5, R1, L4, R3, L5, R2, L3, L4, L3, R1, R5, R1, L3, L1, R3, L1, R2, R2, L2, R5, L3, L4, R4, R4, R2, L4, L1, R5, L1, L4, R4, L1, R1, L2, R5, L2, L3, R2, R1, L194, R2, L4, R49, R1, R3, L5, L4, L1, R4, R2, R1, L5, R3, L5, L4, R4, R4, L2, L3, R78, L5, R4, R191, R4, R3, R1, L2, R1, R3, L1, R3, R4, R2, L2, R1, R4, L5, R2, L2, L4, L2, R1, R2, L3, R5, R2, L3, L3, R3, L1, L1, R5, L4, L4, L2, R5, R1, R4, L3, L5, L4, R5, L4, R5, R4, L3, L2, L5, R4, R3, L3, R1, L5, R5, R1, L3, R2, L5, R5, L3, R1, R4, L5, R4, R2, R3, L4, L5, R3, R4, L5, L5, R4, L4, L4, R1, R5, R3, L1, L4, L3, L4, R1, L5, L1, R2, R2, R4, R4, L5, R4, R1, L1, L1, L3, L5, L2, R4, L3, L5, L4, L1, R3"
val coordinates = input.split(", ").map(x => Movement(x.charAt(0).toString, x.substring(1).toInt)).toList

def moveUp = (position: (Int, Int), length: Int) => (position._1, position._2 + length)
def moveDown = (position: (Int, Int), length: Int) => (position._1, position._2 - length)
def moveRight = (position: (Int, Int), length: Int) => (position._1 + length, position._2)
def moveLeft = (position: (Int, Int), length: Int) => (position._1 - length, position._2)

def findDistance(data: List[Movement]): Unit = {

val visited = scala.collection.mutable.Stack[(Int, Int)]((0,0))

def newDirection(currentDirection: String, direction: String):
(((Int, Int), Int) => (Int, Int), String) = {
(currentDirection, direction == "R") match {
case ("C", isTrue) => if (isTrue) (moveRight, "E") else (moveLeft, "W")
case ("N", isTrue) => if (isTrue) (moveRight, "E") else (moveLeft, "W")
case ("E", isTrue) => if (isTrue) (moveDown, "S") else (moveUp, "N")
case ("W", isTrue) => if (isTrue) (moveUp, "N") else (moveDown, "S")
case ("S", isTrue) => if (isTrue) (moveLeft, "W") else (moveRight, "E")
}
}

def updateVisited(position: (Int, Int)): Unit = {
val top = visited.top

val coordinates = if (top._1 == position._1) {
val rangeBy = if (top._2 > position._2) -1 else 1
for (i <- top._2 to position._2 by rangeBy) yield (top._1, i)
}
else {
val rangeBy = if (top._1 > position._1) -1 else 1
for (i <- top._1 to position._1 by rangeBy) yield (i, top._2)
}

for(i <- coordinates.tail) {
val exists = visited.exists(x => x._1 == i._1 && x._2 == i._2)

if (exists)
println(math.abs(i._1) + math.abs(i._2))
else
visited.push(i)
}
}

def walk(data: List[Movement], position: (Int, Int), direction: String): Unit = {
data match {
val nextMove = newDirection(direction, head.direction)
val newPosition = nextMove._1(position, head.length)
updateVisited(newPosition)
walk(tail, newPosition, nextMove._2)
case _ => println(math.abs(position._1) + math.abs(position._2))
}
}

walk(data, (0, 0), "C")
}

findDistance(coordinates)

``````

As you can see the newDirection method is now much small & is easy to read. I have extracted the if-else block & replaced it with smaller functions like moveUp, moveDown etc. All this is possible because of Scala’s ability of treating functions as objects. This allows functions to be treated as objects i.e. functions can be passed as input arguments, can be returned as value.

I do understand that the above code can still be significantly improved specially the updateVisited block. Also string constants like “N”, “S” etc can be replaced with enums. I think for Day 1 problem, the solution listed above is sufficient. As I move forward, I will try to learn & improve my Scala skills by incorporating Scala’s core & advanced language traits in my solutions.

### Day 2: Bathroom Security

You can go through the problem definition here. The key thing in solving this problem was the representation of the numeric keypad.

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

First instinct is to represent the above grid using two dimensional array. The solution will work but code will become overly complicated because of all of the boundary conditions. In the solution below, I have created two maps : one for mapping number against grid position(1 -> (0,0)) & another map which is basically reverse of the first one i.e. ((0,0) -> 1). From the code below, you will be able to understand how the two maps helped me in solving the problem.

``````import scala.io.Source

val fileName = "/Users/mishrapaw/ScalaInAction/src/main/resources/Day2Input.txt"
val directions = { for (line <- Source.fromFile(fileName).getLines) yield line } toList

/* For Part 1
val keyToIndex = Map(
1 -> (0,0),
2 -> (0,1),
3 -> (0,2),
4 -> (1,0),
5 -> (1,1),
6 -> (1,2),
7 -> (2,0),
8 -> (2,1),
9 -> (2,2))

val indexToKey = keyToIndex.map(x => (x._2 -> x._1))
*/

// For Part 2
val keyToIndex = Map(
"1" -> (0,2),
"2" -> (1,1),
"3" -> (1,2),
"4" -> (1,3),
"5" -> (2,0),
"6" -> (2,1),
"7" -> (2,2),
"8" -> (2,3),
"9" -> (2,4),
"A" -> (3,1),
"B" -> (3,2),
"C" -> (3,3),
"D" -> (4,2))

val indexToKey = keyToIndex.map(x => (x._2 -> x._1))

def getCode(lines: List[String]): Unit = {

def movement(key: String, direction: Char): String = {
val position = keyToIndex.get(key).get
val newPosition = direction match {
case 'U' => (position._1 - 1, position._2)
case 'D' => (position._1 + 1, position._2)
case 'L' => (position._1, position._2 - 1)
case 'R' => (position._1, position._2 + 1)
}

val newKey = indexToKey.get(newPosition)
if (newKey.isDefined) newKey.get else key
}

def parse(data: List[String], key: String): Unit = {
data match {
case x::xs =>
val finalKey = x.foldLeft(key)((k,t) => movement(k, t))
print(finalKey)
parse(xs, finalKey)
case Nil => println("Done")
}
}

parse(lines, "5")

}

getCode(directions)
``````

Instead of manually creating the map(keyToIndex), you can also created it automatically using the below code :

``````val index = for (i <- 0 to 2; j <- 0 to 2) yield (i, j)
val keys = { for ((value, count) <- index.zip(Stream from 1)) yield (count -> value) } toMap
``````

### Day 3: Squares With Three Sides

``````import scala.io.Source

case class Triangle(a: Int, b: Int, c: Int) {
def IsTriangle(): Boolean = {
if (a + b > c && a + c > b && b + c > a) true else false
}
}

val fileName = "/Users/mishrapaw/ScalaInAction/src/main/resources/Day3Input.txt"
val sides = { for (line <- Source.fromFile(fileName).getLines)
yield line.trim.split("  ")
.map(_.trim)
.filter(_ != "")
.map(_.toInt) } toList

// Part 1
val triangles = sides.map(x => Triangle(x(0), x(1), x(2)))
val count = triangles.count(_.IsTriangle)
count

// Part 2
val grouped = sides.flatMap(x => x).zipWithIndex.groupBy(_._2 % 3).map(_._2)
.flatMap(z => z).map(_._1).toList

val data = { for (i <- 0 to grouped.length - 3 by 3)
yield Triangle(grouped(i), grouped(i + 1), grouped(i + 2)) } toList
val newCount = data.count(_.IsTriangle())
newCount

``````