# Re: [PHP] Algorithm Help

```It also depends on the amount of kids, families and stays.

If the numbers are low, by hand may be a lot easier and faster```
```
Kind regards/met vriendelijke groet,

Serge Fonville

http://www.sergefonville.nl

2013/10/2 Tamara Temple <tamouse.li...@gmail.com>

>
> On Oct 1, 2013, at 1:51 PM, Floyd Resler <fres...@adex-intl.com> wrote:
>
> > Here's my task: A group of kids is going to be staying with different
> host families throughout the next 8 months.  The number of kids staying
> with a host family can range from 2 to 10.  When deciding which kids should
> stay together at a host family, the idea is for the system to put together
> kids who have stayed with each other the least on past weekends.  So, if a
> host family can keep 5 kids, then the group of 5 kids who have stayed
> together the least will be chosen.
> >
> > I can't think of an easy, quick way to accomplish this.  I've tried
> various approaches that have resulted in a lot of coding and being very
> slow.  My idea was to give each group of kids a score and the lowest score
> is the group that is selected.  However, this approach wound of iterating
> through several arrays several times which was really slow.  Does anyone
> have any ideas on this puzzle?
> >
> > Thanks!
> > Floyd
> >
> >
> > --
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> >
>
> While definitely a tempting coding exercise, I just want to say that if
> this is urgent in any way, shuffling cards with the kids' names on them by
> hand might just be faster and less frustrating :)
>
> OTOH, if this is something you're going to have to figure out week after
> week, then a software solution might be handy.
>
> This is also not an *easy* problem to solve; there isn't a simple approach
> to optimizing this sort of thing because you're building a net between all
> the various kids based on past stays, in addition to the constraints of
> host family  capacity. Thus your previous code attempts might in fact be
> the end result.
>
> Obviously, structuring the data is the key here.
>
> I'm thinking of 3 primary models: Kids, Hosts, and Stays.
>
> Kids and Hosts seem pretty obvious. Stays is the interesing model, and
> needs to have joining tables with Kids and Hosts.
>
> A Stay will have one Host, and have many Kids and a date.
>
> The algorithm then needs to make the graph where it can pull out the
> number of times any particular kid has stayed with another, looking
> something like this:
>
> Amy:
>    Ben: 10
>    Jill: 3
>    Carlos: 7
>    Chen: 2
> Ben:
>    Amy: 10
>    Jill: 5
>    Carlos: 8
>    Chen: 3
> Jill:
>    … and so on
>
> Then you be able to pull through that graph and find the smallest number
> of stays for each kid.
>
> Not simple, but I hope this helps.
>
>
>
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>
>
```