Competitive learning in informatics: The UVa online judge experience

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Abstract: The UVa Online Judge is probably the oldest and one of the most recognized programming contest training sites for ICPC format contests. It is an automatic judging system where anyone from around the world (regardless of being a contestant or not) can submit his solution to the archived problems to check its correctness and improve his programming skill in the process. Although the judge was initially developed to be used as a trainer site for potential competitors in the international programming contests (mainly ACM ICPC), we have observed that it is a very good tool for self-study. In the present paper some facts from the history of the site are given. Then the paper focus to the nature of self-competitive learning by analyzing the more frequent response sequences to the users from the judge along these 10 years. And by doing so we identify the main differences between the behaviors of the users when they are just training and when they are competing.

Keywords: competitive learning, programming contests, online judge, informatics

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