Infrastructure for contest task development

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  • Article: Infrastructure for contest task development
  • Author(s): Rob Kolstad
  • Journal: Olympiads in Informatics 3 (2009), 38-59

Abstract: The USA Computing Olympiad annually conducts six internet-based computer programming competitions, each including three to four algorithmic tasks in each of three divisions. Coupled with the training camp competitions, a typical annual USACO "problem budget" approaches 75 new tasks at three distinct levels of difficulty.

In order to exploit a distributed coaching staff, USACO developers created and evolved the web-based "probgate" problem-development system to speed production of acceptable quality programming contest tasks that are machine-gradable, well-accepted, and yield no or few complaints, regrades, or requests for clarification.

This paper describes each of the major modules and shows how they are used to simplify, speed up, and automate administration of contests regularly accessed by more than 1,000 students.

Keywords: programming contests, automation, contest test data, contest data validation, contest preparation, contest automation, automatic grading

Download: (free)