On Oct 2, 2013, at 9:51 AM, Tamara Temple <tamouse.li...@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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?
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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
> 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
> Ben: 10
> Jill: 3
> Carlos: 7
> Chen: 2
> Amy: 10
> Jill: 5
> Carlos: 8
> Chen: 3
> … 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.
That's the only approach I could think of. I may have to tell the director it
may be a bit slow but at least she won't have to do it by hand!
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