Finding the median under IOI conditions

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  • Article: Finding the median under IOI conditions
  • Author(s): Gyula Horváth, Tom Verhoeff
  • Journal: Informatics in Education 1 (2002), 73-92

Abstract: We explain the ingredients of the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), which is a challenging competition for high-school students focusing on algorithmic problem solving. We treat in detail the MEDIAN task, which the authors created for IOI 2000: Given an odd number of objects, all of distinct strength, develop an efficient algorithm to determine the object of median strength, using as only operation a function that returns the median of three objects. This problem is easy to formulate and understand. It is related to well-studied standard computing problems, but further analysis of this problem leads to interesting algorithms and variations of the heap data structure. We finish by pointing out some open problems related to this task and we invite you to contribute nice competition tasks for future IOIs.

Keywords: computing competitions, algorithms, median finding

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