Sunday, December 16, 2007

Solving Sudoku Puzzles

I was thinking about writing a program to solve Sudoku puzzles for fun. Before I started writing, I did a quick Google search to see what programs are available. The search turned up many results, the most impressive of which is this essay by Peter Norvig (who co-wrote a famous AI book and is currently the Director of Research at Google)

The full Python source is only about 100 lines and it solves hard Sudoku puzzles very quickly. Therefore, my plan to write the ultimate Sudoku solver is derailed by Dr. Norvig's brilliance


By the way, Dr. Norvig has a lot of interesting essays that anyone working with computers should take a look. My favorites are Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation (hilarious), Einstein '05 Performance Review (even more hilarious!), Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years (no, not a joke, but wise), and The Python IAQ: Infrequently Answered Questions.
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P.S. I also found this extremely hilarious link about how NOT to solve Sudoku. (You need to click on Ron Jeffries' attempts for hilarity.)

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