NickyMeulemanNime

• ### By

• Nicky Meuleman

• ### Older post

Advent of Code 2023 Day 7

Advent of Code 2023 Day 9

1. Day 8: Haunted Wasteland
2. Part 1
1. Code
3. Part 2
1. Code
4. Final code

# Advent of Code 2023 Day 8

## Day 8: Haunted Wasteland

You are still riding a camel on Desert Island. A sandstorm is coming and you need to make yourself scarce, quickly.

Your guide just finished warning you about ghosts too, very spooky an not at all foreshadowing, nuh-uh.

Your puzzle input today is a piece of paper labeled “maps”, you use those maps to get out of there.

The first line is a list of left/right instructions.

The following block are a bunch of key = value pairs where a value is written as (left, right).

An example input looks like this:

input.txt
RL.css-13aqjzy{display:inline-block;}
AAA = (BBB, CCC)BBB = (DDD, EEE)CCC = (ZZZ, GGG)DDD = (DDD, DDD)EEE = (EEE, EEE)GGG = (GGG, GGG)ZZZ = (ZZZ, ZZZ)

The first line in the input tells you to go right first, then left.

The letter combinations in the map are locations. Each location leads to two other locations, one if you go left, and one if you go right.

## Part 1

You start at location AAA and want to go to location ZZZ.

If you follow the instructions over and over, you will get to ZZZ eventually.

The question asks how many steps it takes to get to ZZZ if you start at AAA.

I chose to parse the input into Rust structs again. The top line of the input turns into a list of Instruction.

enum Instruction {    Left,    Right,}

The map in the input turns into a HashMap with a position as key, and a Destinations struct as value.

struct Destinations<'a> {    left: &'a str,    right: &'a str,}

The actual logic for this part was straightforward. I kept track of a curr variable that stores the location I’m currently at, it starts at "AAA".

Then I loop until my current location is "ZZZ".

For every iteration, I pull an instruction from the initial list of instructions I made repeat endlessly. I apply that instruction and update the step count.

### Code

day_08.rs
use std::collections::HashMap;
enum Instruction {    Left,    Right,}
struct Destinations<'a> {    left: &'a str,    right: &'a str,}
pub fn part_1(input: &str) -> u32 {    let (instructions, map) = input.split_once("\n\n").unwrap();    let instructions = instructions.chars().map(|c| match c {        'L' => Instruction::Left,        'R' => Instruction::Right,        _ => panic!("at the disco"),    });    let map: HashMap<&str, Destinations> = map        .lines()        .map(|line| {            let (source, destinations) = line.split_once(" = ").unwrap();            let destinations = destinations                .strip_prefix("(")                .unwrap()                .strip_suffix(")")                .unwrap();            let destinations = destinations.split_once(", ").unwrap();            (                source,                Destinations {                    left: destinations.0,                    right: destinations.1,                },            )        })        .collect();
let mut instructions = instructions.cycle();    let mut steps = 0;    let mut curr = "AAA";
while curr != "ZZZ" {        let ins = instructions.next().unwrap();        let Destinations { left, right } = map.get(curr).unwrap();        curr = match ins {            Instruction::Left => left,            Instruction::Right => right,        };        steps += 1;    }
steps}

## Part 2

The map isn’t for people, it’s for ghosts!

The number of nodes with names ending in A is equal to the number ending in Z!

If you were a ghost, you would start at all nodes ending with an A simultaneously and follow each path until they all end in a Z at the same time.

• Each ghost has a different starting point
• Each ghost follows the same instruction

In the example:

input.txt
LR
11A = (11B, XXX)11B = (XXX, 11Z)11Z = (11B, XXX)22A = (22B, XXX)22B = (22C, 22C)22C = (22Z, 22Z)22Z = (22B, 22B)XXX = (XXX, XXX)

There are 2 ghosts:

1. Starts at 11A
2. Starts at 22A

Following the instructions until all ghosts end up at a location ending in Z:

• Step 0: You are at 11A and 22A.
• Step 1: You choose all of the left paths, leading you to 11B and 22B.
• Step 2: You choose all of the right paths, leading you to 11Z and 22C.
• Step 3: You choose all of the left paths, leading you to 11B and 22Z.
• Step 4: You choose all of the right paths, leading you to 11Z and 22B.
• Step 5: You choose all of the left paths, leading you to 11B and 22C.
• Step 6: You choose all of the right paths, leading you to 11Z and 22Z.

The question asks how many steps it takes before all ghosts are on nodes that end with Z?

I attempted to use the same code as in part1, and slightly modify it, but alas. Today is a day that is not going to be solved by brute-force in any reasonable time.

It turns out today’s input is specially crafted. The guiding text gives us some hints, but the specifics remain for us to discover (or, if you’re like me, look up).

It looks like part2 is the traditional cycle detection problem! Advent of Code has one every year. (or most years anyway)

Like AoC 2022 day 17 part 2, which I also have a blogpost on Or AoC 2017 day 16 part 2, my solution code

Back to how the input is special, and how you can use that fact.

The first clue is in the guiding text:

After examining the maps a bit longer, your attention is drawn to a curious fact: the number of nodes with names ending in A is equal to the number ending in Z!

The number of steps it takes for a ghost to get to the end is a clean multiple of the instruction length for every ghost.

Each ghost has a seperate ending point, and never visits other ending points.

All ghosts loop back around to their starting point, and then to their starting point, and then their ending point, until infinity.

Every last location leads to the second location that ghost ever visited. That means every loop a ghost does is identical in length.

tl;dr: Every ghost is on their own loop, they go round, and round, eventually all standing on a location that ends in a Z.

All this put together means that, for every ghost you figure out how long it takes until they reach their ending location. A time where all ghosts are at their ending location at the same time is the least common multiple of all those numbers.

To find that, I first found the greatest common divisor using the Euclidian algorithm

In code, I kept track of how many full instruction lines were executed.

Every time I execute a full set of instructions (the first line of the input without repeating), I check if any ghosts are at their ending, and keep track of how many sets of instructions it took.

### Code

day_08.rs
use std::collections::HashMap;
enum Instruction {    Left,    Right,}
struct Destinations<'a> {    left: &'a str,    right: &'a str,}
struct Ghost<'a> {    pos: &'a str,    cycles: Option<u64>,}
fn gcd(mut a: u64, mut b: u64) -> u64 {    while b != 0 {        let tmp = a;        a = b;        b = tmp % b;    }    a}
fn lcm(a: u64, b: u64) -> u64 {    a * b / gcd(a, b)}
pub fn part_2(input: &str) -> u64 {    let (instructions, map) = input.split_once("\n\n").unwrap();    let instructions: Vec<Instruction> = instructions        .chars()        .map(|c| match c {            'L' => Instruction::Left,            'R' => Instruction::Right,            _ => panic!("at the disco"),        })        .collect();    let map: HashMap<&str, Destinations> = map        .lines()        .map(|line| {            let (source, destinations) = line.split_once(" = ").unwrap();            let destinations = destinations                .strip_prefix("(")                .unwrap()                .strip_suffix(")")                .unwrap();            let destinations = destinations.split_once(", ").unwrap();            (                source,                Destinations {                    left: destinations.0,                    right: destinations.1,                },            )        })        .collect();
let mut cycle_count = 0;    let mut ghosts: Vec<Ghost> = map        .keys()        // start from all positions ending in 'A'        .filter(|source| source.ends_with('A'))        // map every location to a location with a cycle count        .map(|pos| Ghost { pos, cycles: None })        .collect();
while ghosts.iter().any(|ghost| ghost.cycles.is_none()) {        // Do a full cycle of instructions        for ins in &instructions {            for Ghost { pos, cycles } in ghosts.iter_mut() {                if cycles.is_some() {                    // this loop already has a known cycle length, no need to simulate further                    continue;                }                let Destinations { left, right } = map.get(pos).unwrap();                *pos = match ins {                    Instruction::Left => left,                    Instruction::Right => right,                };            }        }        cycle_count += 1;
// after a full cycle of instructions, save any found cycles (ghosts that arrived at a destination)        for Ghost { pos, cycles: cycle } in ghosts.iter_mut() {            if cycle.is_some() {                // already has a known cycle, no need to update                continue;            }            if pos.ends_with('Z') {                *cycle = Some(cycle_count);            }        }    }
let min_shared_cycles = ghosts        .into_iter()        .filter_map(|ghost| ghost.cycles)        .fold(1, |acc, item| lcm(acc, item));
min_shared_cycles * instructions.len() as u64}

## Final code

day_08.rs
.css-1mjim83{display:inline-block;width:2ch;text-align:right;-webkit-user-select:none;-moz-user-select:none;-ms-user-select:none;user-select:none;opacity:0.3;margin-right:0.5rem;}1use std::collections::HashMap;2
3enum Instruction {4    Left,5    Right,6}7
8struct Destinations<'a> {9    left: &'a str,10    right: &'a str,11}12
13pub fn part_1(input: &str) -> u32 {14    let (instructions, map) = input.split_once("\n\n").unwrap();15    let instructions = instructions.chars().map(|c| match c {16        'L' => Instruction::Left,17        'R' => Instruction::Right,18        _ => panic!("at the disco"),19    });20    let map: HashMap<&str, Destinations> = map21        .lines()22        .map(|line| {23            let (source, destinations) = line.split_once(" = ").unwrap();24            let destinations = destinations25                .strip_prefix("(")26                .unwrap()27                .strip_suffix(")")28                .unwrap();29            let destinations = destinations.split_once(", ").unwrap();30            (31                source,32                Destinations {33                    left: destinations.0,34                    right: destinations.1,35                },36            )37        })38        .collect();39
40    let mut instructions = instructions.cycle();41    let mut steps = 0;42    let mut curr = "AAA";43
44    while curr != "ZZZ" {45        let ins = instructions.next().unwrap();46        let Destinations { left, right } = map.get(curr).unwrap();47        curr = match ins {48            Instruction::Left => left,49            Instruction::Right => right,50        };51        steps += 1;52    }53
54    steps55}56
57struct Ghost<'a> {58    pos: &'a str,59    cycles: Option<u64>,60}61
62fn gcd(mut a: u64, mut b: u64) -> u64 {63    while b != 0 {64        let tmp = a;65        a = b;66        b = tmp % b;67    }68    a69}70
71fn lcm(a: u64, b: u64) -> u64 {72    a * b / gcd(a, b)73}74
75pub fn part_2(input: &str) -> u64 {76    let (instructions, map) = input.split_once("\n\n").unwrap();77    let instructions: Vec<Instruction> = instructions78        .chars()79        .map(|c| match c {80            'L' => Instruction::Left,81            'R' => Instruction::Right,82            _ => panic!("at the disco"),83        })84        .collect();85    let map: HashMap<&str, Destinations> = map86        .lines()87        .map(|line| {88            let (source, destinations) = line.split_once(" = ").unwrap();89            let destinations = destinations90                .strip_prefix("(")91                .unwrap()92                .strip_suffix(")")93                .unwrap();94            let destinations = destinations.split_once(", ").unwrap();95            (96                source,97                Destinations {98                    left: destinations.0,99                    right: destinations.1,100                },101            )102        })103        .collect();104
105    let mut cycle_count = 0;106    let mut ghosts: Vec<Ghost> = map107        .keys()108        // start from all positions ending in 'A'109        .filter(|source| source.ends_with('A'))110        // map every location to a location with a cycle count111        .map(|pos| Ghost { pos, cycles: None })112        .collect();113
114    while ghosts.iter().any(|ghost| ghost.cycles.is_none()) {115        // Do a full cycle of instructions116        for ins in &instructions {117            for Ghost { pos, cycles } in ghosts.iter_mut() {118                if cycles.is_some() {119                    // this loop already has a known cycle length, no need to simulate further120                    continue;121                }122                let Destinations { left, right } = map.get(pos).unwrap();123                *pos = match ins {124                    Instruction::Left => left,125                    Instruction::Right => right,126                };127            }128        }129        cycle_count += 1;130
131        // after a full cycle of instructions, save any found cycles (ghosts that arrived at a destination)132        for Ghost { pos, cycles: cycle } in ghosts.iter_mut() {133            if cycle.is_some() {134                // already has a known cycle, no need to update135                continue;136            }137            if pos.ends_with('Z') {138                *cycle = Some(cycle_count);139            }140        }141    }142
143    let min_shared_cycles = ghosts144        .into_iter()145        .filter_map(|ghost| ghost.cycles)146        .fold(1, |acc, item| lcm(acc, item));147
148    min_shared_cycles * instructions.len() as u64149}