## Sudoku Research Project

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

### Sudoku Research Project

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
Sepehr

Posts: 1
Joined: 31 January 2021

### Re: Sudoku Research Project

Hi Sepehr,

I think this is not the right place to ask this question. Here, people talk about resolution rules, puzzles, their solutions, ... But this forum has no online resolution feature.
What you need is online solving platforms. I'm sure you'll easily find a lot of them. The question is, do they record all the data you need for your project. And the only way to know is to contact them directly.
Denis
denis_berthier
2010 Supporter

Posts: 3166
Joined: 19 June 2007
Location: Paris

### Re: Sudoku Research Project

Sudoku puzzles frequently can be solved in multiple ways.

Most electronic solvers (non human solvers), will find the solution with the easiest techniques...

...and as the difficutly of the puzzles get harder, different solvers will diverge on how to solve it.

Humans solve Sudoku puzzles strictly by patterns. So if a human is solving a sudoku and notices a pattern that's more difficult than the easiest step available, a human isn't going to keep looking for the easiest step in the puzzle. The person will immediately apply the technique he or she spotted.

Due to people having differing levels of knowlege, it's likely that the exact same puzzle will be solved in different ways.

It almost certain the 2 humans solving the same puzzle will choose to look at different patterns when scanning the puzzle.

Eg: if a puzzle has 2 naked singles in the first step, and no other possible first step, it's a 50/50 chance both will solve the same cell.

Even different solving engines are likely differ in the sequence of techniques used in solving a Sudoku puzzle.
Pupp

Posts: 246
Joined: 18 October 2019

### Re: Sudoku Research Project

I got to thinking, of an interesting idea:

Find 10 puzzles that are between 1.4 SE and 2.0 SE that also have more advanced techniques available, but not needed, to solve the puzzle.

Then find a group of players with different skill levels to solve each puzzle.

Analyzing how different players solve those puzzles would give some interesting data.

Many easier puzzles can inadvertently be solved with steps that short circuit the rest of the puzzle into mainly naked and hidden singles.
Pupp

Posts: 246
Joined: 18 October 2019

### Re: Sudoku Research Project

your research project sounds interesting. i hope these recent replies come in good time.

maybe Logic Masters can help you? i honestly have no idea (you can't solve puzzles in it, but it does have thousands of them)

you might also be interested in some youtube videos.
for me, Simon from CrackingTheCryptic is always a pleasure to watch, but since he's always explaining his moves, it might not be what you want. i dunno if it helps.

baea808

Posts: 10
Joined: 23 April 2021

### Re: Sudoku Research Project

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:

There 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=BLg2WGtUZQ4

And 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=1300

And 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.
dxSudoku

Posts: 43
Joined: 06 April 2020