Advent of Code 2022 - Day 1
Santa's elves have done a poor job keeping track of and properly distributing their food supplies, so it falls on us today to sort out how much the elves are carrying.
The input for this problem takes the form of groups of numbers representing calorie counts for food items. Each item is separated with a newline, and each group is separated by a blank line (two newlines).
To parse the input, I began by adding the same code I use for all my solutions, to read an entire input file into a string.
Normally, my next step would be to split the input on newlines to get each individual line to work with, however in this case doing so would make it more difficult to handle the grouping. As each group is separated by two newlines, it's better to first split by two newlines to get an array of the strings for each group before doing anything else with the input.
Now with the input split into groups, we can process each of the groups to split the text into each line, and then convert each line into an int to get a number we can work with later.
Solving the problem - part one
In part one of this day's problem, we need to find the total number of calories carried by the elf with the most calories.
To do this, I:
Array.sumto every item in the array, to calculate a total for every elf
- Sort descending, to easily get the highest calorie count
- Take the first item from the sorted array
This gives us the following:
Solving the problem - part two
The only difference between part one and part two is the number of top elves they want data from. In comparison to part one where they wanted the calorie count for the elf carrying the most calories, in part two they want the total number of calories.
To go from the existing solution to this requires only a couple of tweaks:
- Rather than taking the top elf, take the top 3 elves
- Apply a second pass of
Array.sumto the top 3 counts
The resulting code looks like:
Now that I've got a solution that works well enough to secure my position on the leaderboard, I can focus my attention on trying to clean up my solution.
The first target for my cleanup was removing the two different solution functions. As both parts of the problem basically ask for the exact same thing (sum of the top
n elves calorie counts), the exact same operations can be applied for both problems, just with a varying number. As a result, we can combine the two separate part's functions into a single function, like this:
The final target for cleanup was the inline
fun array -> array[.. n - 1] function. I threw it in during development as a quick means of grabbing the elements from the array as I couldn't find a way to get
n items from an array. But I knew there had to be a function somewhere in the standard library to do that - F# has a baffling number of misc functions to interact with arrays, I figured there was no way they didn't have something as simple as that.
After looking at Jack's solution which was doing basically the exact same thing, I saw that he was using a function in Elixir for doing this called
take. After searching the F# docs for a function with that name, I found exactly what I was looking for -
Replacing that function cleans up the
maxNElves function pretty much as clean as I can get it, and gives me my final cleaned up solution, which can be found here.