Problem 79: Passcode derivation

(see projecteuler.net/problem=79)

A common security method used for online banking is to ask the user for three random characters from a passcode.
For example, if the passcode was 531278, they may ask for the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th characters; the expected reply would be: 317.

The text file, keylog.txt, contains fifty successful login attempts.

Given that the three characters are always asked for in order, analyse the file so as to determine the shortest possible secret passcode of unknown length.

My Algorithm

A very important facts is missing in the problem description: each character is unique in the passcode.

My input routine works as follows:
- for each logged character: keep track of all characters that were entered immediately before it (in the same login attempt)
- store this information in previous, e.g. for 317 it contains { 1 => {3}, 3 => {}, 7 => {1} }

Assuming we tracked more logins: 518, 538 and 327:
previous = { 1 => {3,5}, 2 => {3}, 3 => {5}, 5 => {}, 7 => {1,2}, 8 => {1,3} }

When all logins are processed, I look for the lexicographically smallest (due to Hackerrank's problem modifications) without any successor.
In the example above, 5 points to an empty set and would be printed first.

Then my algorithm removes 5 from previous: remove it whereever it appears as a key and as a value.
previous = { 1 => {3}, 2 => {3}, 3 => {}, 7 => {1,2}, 8 => {1,3} }

The next character without successor is 3 ... print 3 and remove it from previous:
previous = { 1 => {}, 2 => {}, 7 => {1,2}, 8 => {1} }

Now there are several possible keyphrases. We don't know for sure whether the next character is 1 or 2.
1 is lexicographically smaller and is chosen by my program.
previous = { 2 => {}, 7 => {2}, 8 => {} }

Then 2 (again: ambiguous !):
previous = { 7 => {}, 8 => {} }

After that the program picks 7 and finally 8.

My program accepts numbers as well as letters. The "lexicographical order" is based on the ASCII code.

The input can be scrambled in a way that no solution is possible (Hackerrank only, an example would be 123 321).
Then "SMTH WRONG" is printed.

Interactive test

You can submit your own input to my program and it will be instantly processed at my server:

This live test is based on the Hackerrank problem.

Input data (separated by spaces or newlines):
Note: The first line contains the number of logins, then each line has a login attempts

This is equivalent to
echo "" | ./79

Output:

(please click 'Go !')

(this interactive test is still under development, computations will be aborted after one second)

My code

… was written in C++11 and can be compiled with G++, Clang++, Visual C++. You can download it, as well as the input data, too.

The code contains #ifdefs to switch between the original problem and the Hackerrank version.
Enable #ifdef ORIGINAL to produce the result for the original problem (default setting for most problems).

#include <set>
#include <map>
#include <string>
#include <iostream>
 
int main()
{
unsigned int logins = 50; // p079_keylog.txt contains 50 logins
 
//#define ORIGINAL
#ifndef ORIGINAL
std::cin >> logins;
#endif
 
// read all logged inputs
// for each digit/letter, store its predecessor
std::map<char, std::set<char>> previous;
while (logins--)
{
std::string line;
std::cin >> line;
// create an empty set for the initial letter (if it doesn't exist yet)
previous[line[0]];
// and for the other letters, store their predecessors
for (unsigned int i = 1; i < line.size(); i++)
previous[line[i]].insert(line[i - 1]);
}
 
// until we have no characters left ...
std::string result;
while (!previous.empty())
{
// find lexicographically smallest letter with no predecessor
auto emptySet = previous.begin();
while (emptySet != previous.end() && !emptySet->second.empty())
emptySet++;
 
// invalid ?
if (emptySet == previous.end())
{
result = "SMTH WRONG"; // Hackerrank's message if code cannot be decrypted
break;
}
 
// print letter
auto current = emptySet->first;
result += current;
 
// that letter won't appear in the keyphrase anymore
previous.erase(current);
 
// remove from the predecessor list of all other letters
for (auto& p : previous)
p.second.erase(current);
}
 
// print keyphrase
std::cout << result << std::endl;
return 0;
}

This solution contains 10 empty lines, 12 comments and 6 preprocessor commands.

Benchmark

The correct solution to the original Project Euler problem was found in less than 0.01 seconds on a Intel® Core™ i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz.
(compiled for x86_64 / Linux, GCC flags: -O3 -march=native -fno-exceptions -fno-rtti -std=c++11 -DORIGINAL)

See here for a comparison of all solutions.

Note: interactive tests run on a weaker (=slower) computer. Some interactive tests are compiled without -DORIGINAL.

Changelog

March 13, 2017 submitted solution
May 3, 2017 added comments

Hackerrank

see https://www.hackerrank.com/contests/projecteuler/challenges/euler079

My code solves 22 out of 22 test cases (score: 100%)

Difficulty

5% Project Euler ranks this problem at 5% (out of 100%).

Hackerrank describes this problem as easy.

Note:
Hackerrank has strict execution time limits (typically 2 seconds for C++ code) and often a much wider input range than the original problem.
In my opinion, Hackerrank's modified problems are usually a lot harder to solve. As a rule thumb: brute-force is rarely an option.

Heatmap

Please click on a problem's number to open my solution to that problem:

green   solutions solve the original Project Euler problem and have a perfect score of 100% at Hackerrank, too
yellow solutions score less than 100% at Hackerrank (but still solve the original problem easily)
gray problems are already solved but I haven't published my solution yet
blue solutions are relevant for Project Euler only: there wasn't a Hackerrank version of it (at the time I solved it) or it differed too much
orange problems are solved but exceed the time limit of one minute or the memory limit of 256 MByte
red problems are not solved yet but I wrote a simulation to approximate the result or verified at least the given example - usually I sketched a few ideas, too

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75
76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125
126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150
151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175
176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200
201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225
226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250
251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275
276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300
301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325
326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350
351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375
376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400
401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425
426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450
451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475
476 477 478 479 480 481 482 483 484 485 486 487 488 489 490 491 492 493 494 495 496 497 498 499 500
501 502 503 504 505 506 507 508 509 510 511 512 513 514 515 516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525
526 527 528 529 530 531 532 533 534 535 536 537 538 539 540 541 542 543 544 545 546 547 548 549 550
551 552 553 554 555 556 557 558 559 560 561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575
The 270 solved problems (level 10) had an average difficulty of 31.3% at Project Euler and
I scored 13,386 points (out of 15600 possible points, top rank was 17 out of ≈60000 in August 2017) at Hackerrank's Project Euler+.

My username at Project Euler is stephanbrumme while it's stbrumme at Hackerrank.

Look at my progress and performance pages to get more details.

more about me can be found on my homepage, especially in my coding blog.
some names mentioned on this site may be trademarks of their respective owners.
thanks to the KaTeX team for their great typesetting library !