Sepehr wrote:Hello,

I am a Ph.D. student and I am working on a project about Sudoku puzzles. For this project, I need data of human solving Sudoku puzzles with a record of the moves taken by the human and the time of each move.

I have been searching for online Sudoku platforms. However, I have not been able to find good candidates for my project. That is why I joined this forum to ask the Sudoku experts about this. I was wondering if anyone of you knows of publicly available human Sudoku puzzles and solving steps? Or any website that might be willing to share the data and records it has accumulated from the players? Please share with me anything you know in this regard. Any link/name/idea is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Sepehr

There are different types of Sudoku players you will need to take into account. Some extreme purists take the position using pencil marks to solve a puzzle is cheating. Some less extreme purists take the position letting your Sudoku software fill in the pencil marks is cheating. And other purists will claim using your Sudoku software to highlight cells with different colors is cheating.

There are also different types of Sudoku players. Some Sudoku players are interested solving puzzles as fast as possible for competition play. These competition puzzles generally do not require advance puzzle-solving techniques but are more a test of how fast a person can solve a puzzle.

And then there are other types of players, like myself, who prefer using Sudoku, cell coloring features, and solving puzzles using complex puzzle-solving techniques. How long it takes really isn't important. What is important is using the advanced puzzle-solving techniques to solve the puzzle. So in my world, certain puzzles having certain puzzle-solving techniques I've solved under 3 minutes. And then some puzzles, for example, ones having 2-2-2 type Hidden Triple found inside 3 x 3 block will take me longer to solve because finding 2-2-2 type triples are generally much harder. Same thing with 2-2-2 type Swordfish.

The other thing is certain puzzle-solving techniques I am much better at than others. I'm really good with Hidden Pairs, Naked Quads, XY-Wings, and Swordfish. I'm still working on getting better with W-Wings, XYZ-Wings, and Jellyfish.

For more insight on the nature of Sudoku puzzles, I suggest you watch my tutorial videos on creating Sudoku puzzles from scratch:

Part I:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Hx54WCRN5APart II:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqhGB3iVKOUPart III:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bCgv2DC0iUThere are also two schools of thought on how to best proceed in solving a puzzle. One school of thought uses Snyder notation (a lot of speed competition guys perfer this way). And the other school is the modern software approach where you let your computer software take care of all the pencil marks. Here's a video on solving Sudoku puzzles with and without Snyder notation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLg2WGtUZQ4And one more final video. Here is a general purpose Sudoku puzzle solving algorithm I present in my beginner's user guide:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WnFkrUt_10&t=1300And here is one more thing you might find interesting. Here is a thread on a point in the puzzle where someone was stuck and four different people came up with four different ways to proceed in solving the puzzle at this point. I diagrammed each of the four ways:

https://www.reddit.com/r/sudoku/comment ... furcation/The point is, not every puzzle has a unique solution path.

I hope this helps you figure out what you trying to understand. Sudoku is a fascinating topic with many different aspects of interest. People experience Sudoku in many different ways.