Source code for my entry in the 2012 ICFP Programming Competition
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Celestial Dire Badger is:
Jed Davis <>

The strategy here is essentially a glorified random walk.  The world
step function is applicative, by way of the RCS-like difference list
graph structure in (which was a learning experience in Rust to
get past the language statics); taking advantage of this, the program
maintains a collection of world states and repeats randomly picking
one, extending it, and replacing a random member of the collection
with it.  Elaborations on this strategy perform surprisingly well for
something so aggressively unenlightened.

More specifically: randbot is an unenlightened implementation of this,
although it does have some tweaks to favor moving in the same
direction and disfavor reversing, relative to the previous move.  It
does surprisingly well despite that.  The more advanced version, and
the current submission, is evobot, which attempts to take a more
evolutionary approach by granting extra replications to states which
have found lambdas.  (Various other incentives -- moving rocks
directly or indirectly, and exploring parts of the map not recently
touched, have been tried and found to be counterproductive.  It is
difficult to describe the feeling of watching the 'R' knock the
falling rock out of the way in midair on, and then
proceed to go and push the other rock onto the lift it just saved.)
(But, after the last parenthetical was written, a number of
adjustments for the extension features were added, and seem to be
pulling something not entirely unlike their weight.)  It also has a
few adjustments in terms of not replicating every turn and not
switching to another state every replication, which were a modest
improvement.  (And ignore weightbot; it was an abortive experiment
with a fancier "natural selection" approach, which wasn't going to
work without a bunch of complicatedness I didn't want to to try to

The code in handles the interface with the world:
collecting states and retaining the highest-scoring one encountered
(and a trace of how to get there), checking for signals (via a C shim,
because Rust doesn't seem to have an interface and I can't blame the
people working on it for not wanting to touch that without some
serious thought), and arranging to respond to the out-of-time signal
by writing the best trace and exiting cleanly.

There are also two simulator frontends.  The simpler is maprun, which
takes a route on standard input and a map file on the command line,
and prints out each state (currently missing some of the metadata) and
the end result.  It can be used interactively by putting the terminal
into non-canonical non-echoing mode (e.g. `stty cbreak -echo`, but be
careful with this if your shell doesn't reset the terminal flags
before prompting for input the way zsh does), or if piped into a pager
in a terminal of the correct height used as a sort of rudimentary
flipbook for perusing a generated route.

The fancy way to interact with the game is rlrun, a roguelike-like
interface which emits VT/ANSI-style terminal escapes (xterm works).
It accepts the vi keys for motion, '-' for undo, and vi-style 'm' and
"'" to set and jump to marks -- which in this case are not cursor
positions but world states.  When quitting, it shows the best state
reached and prints the route to it.  It's sort of like being a
time-travelling robot in a complicated alternate universe plot.

A final word on the world simulation, in case it breaks when I least
expect it: the map update is limited to what is hopefully a
conservative approximation of the area that could be affected by robot
movement or by rocks in motion during the last timestep.