HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Everything about Sudoku that doesn't fit in one of the other sections

HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby 200e200w » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:08 pm

Hello all!

Let me introduce the new system of rating Sudoku puzzles: HodokuSE. It uses the hardest technique required to solve the puzzle as of Hodoku, and rates the puzzle from 1.0 to 12.0 for human and logical techniques, 15.0 for Template Set and Template Delete, and 20.0 for Brute Force.
Why HodokuSE?
Hodoku, because it uses the hardest technique required to solve the puzzle as of Hodoku, and SE, because it rates the puzzle in a Sudoku Explainer fashion,
With the post I attached a .ZIP file, consisting of two .TXT files.
- First file is the ratings for specified techniques. For example, if the hardest technique used is Multi Colors, the rating equals 5.0, and when the hardest technique used is Death Blossom, it equals 8.5.
- Second file is the example with the ratings of all puzzles submitted to Patterns Game 303 as of February 4, 2018, 07:30 UTC (so, only the first 79 of 110 puzzles). Here also the Pearl and Diamond ratings are used. The Pearl rating is the rating of the hardest step leading to the first digit placement, while the Diamond rating is the rating of the first step. For example, if we take puzzle #53, it has 7.7/7.2/4.3 rating, because the hardest step used is AIC/Nice Loop, the hardest step leading to the first digit placement is Sue de Coq, and the first step is a 2-String Kite.
Note that I will from now use HodokuSE to rate each potential OTP/Nightmare, and the results will be displayed when the puzzle will be published.

200e200w
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HodokuSE.zip
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby David P Bird » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:30 pm

Hi 200e200w,

I'm a bit of a puritan and want to keep branched and assumptive methods as measures of last resort.

Generally I'm happy with rating puzzles by their hardest step and the scaling looks reasonable except for a couple of methods I think are scored too generously.

1) Multi-colours are not patterns that can be recognised but have to be tracked. For me this is the shallow end of a net based approach and I would score these the same as forcing chains.
2) Death blossoms with more than two petals amount to branching in my book. If they all must be rated the same then it should be up there with forcing chains too.

I would apply similar criteria to the named methods that haven't made it into HoDukus list except for SK Loops which are easy to recognise and should have a score between 5 and 6 on your scale.

David PB
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby 200e200w » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:52 pm

Hello all!

After DPB's notes about my HodokuSE system, I changed some ratings. So,
Remote Pairs - changed from 3.8 to 5.0
Simple Colors - changed from 4.8 to 6.2
Multi Colors - changed from 5.0 to 8.6
Death Blossom - changed from 8.5 to 10.8
The new file with new ratings is attached with this post. This time, only the .TXT file, no example file.

200e200w
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HodokuSE 1.txt
HodokuSE Version 1.1
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby tarek » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:14 pm

Hi 200e200w,

What is your relationship exactly with Hoduko?

Forgive me if it has been mentioned before but you joined recently and we didn't have any exchanges to know that.

Any relation to hobiwan who last visited the forum Sep 03, 2012?

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby David P Bird » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:47 pm

200e200w

Assuming you didn't miss tarek's query, while you are considering your reply to him, I have another question for you.

I surmise that you are quite a programming whiz and have linked your own software with some units from Hudoku you downloaded from SourceForge. If so, you may have some advice to help me get out of a fix.

Last Autumn my Dell computer died and I got a later model of it as a replacement. This allowed me to install my old hard disk as the boot drive to save me a lot of work in getting it up and running. However, I decided to uninstall Hoduku and reinstall it in a different directory. This is when I hit problems. The uninstall operation on the Hudoku website (or available from the control panel) doesn't seem to be clean. I could reinstall the program OK, but I was never able to get it to run!

Can you (or anyone else) give me any clues about what the items that should have been cleaned up may be and where I should look for them so I can do the job manually before I try to reinstall it again?

I hit similar problems with the program in the past when the combination of configuration options I was trying caused it to crash. That time the uninstall and reinstall option worked as I hadn't changed any file locations.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby 200e200w » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:24 pm

DPB,
I am not very good at programming, but maybe, one day, when I'll become better, I'll implement the HodokuSE rating system into the code of Hodoku, and release here a new version of Hodoku. I'll also maybe add more techniques, so it will be able to crush more puzzles.

David P Bird wrote:Last Autumn my Dell computer died and I got a later model of it as a replacement. This allowed me to install my old hard disk as the boot drive to save me a lot of work in getting it up and running. However, I decided to uninstall Hoduku and reinstall it in a different directory. This is when I hit problems. The uninstall operation on the Hudoku website (or available from the control panel) doesn't seem to be clean. I could reinstall the program OK, but I was never able to get it to run!

Can you (or anyone else) give me any clues about what the items that should have been cleaned up may be and where I should look for them so I can do the job manually before I try to reinstall it again?


And, about your question, DPB, I think that one of the ways that can help, could be:
- reinstalling Java, or
- removing all Hodoku files manually and installing it again.
If it will not help, someone else who is better at programming and computers, could help.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby David P Bird » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:09 pm

200e200w wrote:I am not very good at programming, but maybe, one day, when I'll become better, I'll implement the HodokuSE rating system into the code of Hodoku, and release here a new version of Hodoku. I'll also maybe add more techniques, so it will be able to crush more puzzles.

So if I read you right, you've changed Hudoku's default rating values for the ones in your list and have published these so that anyone else can use them too to get the same results. I didn't appreciate that.

As for your possible ambition to be able to link with Hudoku's code, the learning curve would be colossal as it isn't just confined to mastering a programming language but also involves learning the intricacies of Windows!

As for me, I wasted a morning clearing out any remnants of Hudoku such as empty folders, short cuts, and previous installation file downloads. I couldn't locate where its configuration files are stored though. I then spent time finding out how to use the Windows registry editor to check if any entry had been changed by Hudoku, but I couldn't locate anything.

I'm not sure if the .exe file makes any calls to Java. My Java version is up do date, but it might have been corrupted somehow, but that's something I'll leave for another time, when I'm not so frustrated!

I'd like to get Hudoku running again, but it's not something I use much – otherwise I wouldn't have waited for 5 months before asking for help.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby 200e200w » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:26 pm

David P Bird wrote:So if I read you right, you've changed Hudoku's default rating values for the ones in your list and have published these so that anyone else can use them too to get the same results.

No. I did not change anything in Hodoku. When I'll learn programming at master level (which may take years!), maybe I'll add this rating system to Hodoku WITHOUT removing old rating system and release here a new version of it.
And, I will not help you anymore in your problem with Hodoku. It's only for good programmers.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby David P Bird » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:34 pm

200e200w wrote:
David P Bird wrote:So if I read you right, you've changed Hudoku's default rating values for the ones in your list and have published these so that anyone else can use them too to get the same results.

No. I did not change anything in Hodoku. When I'll learn programming at master level (which may take years!), maybe I'll add this rating system to Hodoku WITHOUT removing old rating system and release here a new version of it.
And, I will not help you anymore in your problem with Hodoku. It's only for good programmers.
200e200w

I think we have a misunderstanding!

As I'm not a big user of Hodoku and am relying on memory, but I believe it allows the default rating values to be changed for your personal ones. Your announcement in your opening post did not make the steps you were following very clear so we had to guess. Now I know I that I guessed wrong.

As you already told me you were not a programmer, I was not expecting you to help me. I was only telling you about my failure in a friendly way, but with the small hope that someone else may know.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby creint » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:10 pm

It is nice to have good rating, but why do you want to use Hodoku?
Hodoku does not catch all strategies, only just the basic definitions.
For example UR in Hodoku is implemented based on some old ideas, and it catches only rectangles.
But besides that, i don't think a human solver want to try every strategy named in Hodoku.
But on the other hand, its a free and user-friendly, it just one of the best available solvers.
Your rating is just take the solve using the given ordered strategies and then take the highest score from the solution path.
It is probably not hard to implement.
I am a programmer but glancing at the Hodoku source, the solving code is very different then the code i should have written. But i still don't understand a large part.
Learning to program is easy, just a couple of weeks, understanding and creating code is called domain knowledge/experience.

Which techniques do you want to add?
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby David P Bird » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:17 am

200e200w
I have now been able to get Hodoku to run!

What I found out may be of help to you, which is why I am posting this.

When Hodoku starts it looks for a configuration file. On my Windows7 computer it is C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Temp\hodoku.hcfg
If this is missing it writes a new one using the default options.
If it is corrupt the program will not run (that was my problem).

So, if you want, you can do this:
Copy the existing hodoku.config file and rename it hodokuStandard.hcfg
Now run Hodoku and change the values you want to try out.
You will then be able to take a copy of the modified hcfg and rename it hodokuTrial1.hcfg
You then have a choice of which hcfg file you want to use by using copy and rename in the file manager.

Starting all the file names with "hodoku" is to keep them together in the file list.

When I used the Hoduku uninstall option it only removed the program files, not the configuration file which somehow became zero length.

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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby SpAce » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:53 pm

On a related note, if anyone else is using Hodoku on a Mac, I just spent some time figuring out where the default configuration and log files are located. The documentation doesn't help much:

"HoDoKu creates two files in your temp directory by default (the location of the temp directory is platform dependent - under Windows it is usually something like "%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Temp", under Linux it is normally just "/tmp"). The first file is named "hodoku.hcfg". It holds your current configuration. The second file is called "hodoku.log" which holds information about critical errors. Both files can be deleted, although deleting "hodoku.hcfg" will cause HoDoKu to use the default configuration when it starts the next time."
http://hodoku.sourceforge.net/en/docs_ref.php#files

Since the macOS is a UNIX variant, I expected the Linux part to be applicable. However, there was nothing Hodoku related in the /tmp directory. Searching the full hard drive for those files took a long time but it finally revealed the very obscure location. There's also an easier way: just type "echo $TMPDIR" (without the quotation marks) on a terminal. That will tell you the actual temporary directory being used to store those files.

You can also save/load the configuration to/from named files from within the program. That's probably easier than manually making copies of the default file.

David P Bird wrote:As for your possible ambition to be able to link with Hudoku's code, the learning curve would be colossal as it isn't just confined to mastering a programming language but also involves learning the intricacies of Windows!

Thank goodness the colored part is not true. Hodoku is pure Java. For the masochists who use Windows it seems to have a Windows installer which gives you the exe file, but it's only for more Windows-like launching of the program. I presume the whole installation and using the exe is in fact unnecessary on Windows too, because Hodoku could be launched as a Java program directly as on other platforms. That's how I'd do it because it avoids dealing with the registry crap.

PS. If someone's about to tinker with the actual Hodoku source code, I'm fluent with Java and might be able to help with syntax details.
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby SpAce » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:34 pm

creint wrote:I am a programmer ... Learning to program is easy, just a couple of weeks

First you say you're a programmer and then you say that??? :D I don't know any programmer who would devalue their hard-earned expertise that much. Learning to program badly may be easy and happen quickly.
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby SpAce » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:50 pm

David P Bird wrote:1) Multi-colours are not patterns that can be recognised but have to be tracked. For me this is the shallow end of a net based approach and I would score these the same as forcing chains.

True. Any coloring technique, including Simple Coloring and 3D-Medusa, is more or less a net-based "let's see what's out there" approach. That's especially true with your GEM which is the most powerful (and useful) coloring technique I know. (Yes, I know you don't use its net features but I don't see what else an experienced player needs it for normally, as most linear chains are easy and more satisfying to find without it.)

To me the most relevant thing here is that multi-coloring is probably the most useless coloring technique ever. Why would anyone use such a complicated and (at least manually) hard-to-apply method which can be replaced by much simpler X-Chains? I'd personally drop it from the the Hodoku standard solving techniques altogether, unless someone claims to actually use it nowadays. Does anyone? Simple Coloring is just as useless for an experienced player who understands X-Chains (or AICs in general), but at least it's true to its name, which might have some value for beginners learning the basics of chaining. I don't see any value in multi-coloring, except as an optional nice-to-know historical feature.
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Re: HodokuSE, a new system of rating

Postby StrmCkr » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:35 am

PS. If someone's about to tinker with the actual Hodoku source code, I'm fluent with Java and might be able to help with syntax details.


sorting out his notes and process written in German...
then figuring out how he cross linked a lot of nested sub routines to each other is another...
then tied that back to the front end...

:( its not a simple copy paste update for a lot of stuff i tried a few years back to decipher it and add stuff..

its too bad hes off doing some kind of advanced cuda project and has no time for sudoku or lack of interest last time i spoke to him...
Some do, some teach, the rest look it up.
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