After a long time, I returned to TopCoder. I forgot to write algorithm for programming contest such as TopCoder. But previously I realized that it is so important for me to write accurate and fast algorithm within finite time. In order to improve my programming skill again, I returned back to the TopCoder.

SRM is a little hart to me, as first, I tried some practices. Today I solved SRM144 binary code problem. This problem decode messages recursively. For example, when you get the message "123210122", this is encode of "011100011". Suppose the first message is P, and second is Q. Now below equation is realized.

P[i] = Q[i-1] + Q[i] + Q[i+1]

With this recusive rule, you have to decode given message. My code is below.

import java.util.*;
import java.math.*;

import static java.lang.Math.*;

public class BinaryCode {
    public String[] decode(String message) {
	    // Two answers should be solved
		// Each answer is correspond to Q[0] = 0 and Q[0] = 1 case.
        String[] ans = new String[2];
        Integer start = 0;
        Boolean isOut = null;

        // Calculate two cases
        for (int i = 0; i < 2; i++) {
		    // In the case of negative value is received, answer should be "NONE"
            isOut = false;
            start = i;

            // For improve speed performance, I use StringBuffer
            StringBuffer p = new StringBuffer();

            // First and second factor cannot be put on inside loop bacause these are not the sum of three factors
            Integer p1 = Integer.parseInt(message.substring(0, 1)) - Integer.parseInt(p.substring(0, 1));

            // Decode each digit
            for (int j = 1; j < message.length(); j++) {
                Integer d = Integer.parseInt(message.substring(j, j+1)) - Integer.parseInt(p.substring(j, j+1)) - Integer.parseInt(p.substring(j-1, j));
                if (d < 0) {
                    ans[i] = "NONE";
                    isOut = true;

           // Last digit is not need to retained
           if (!isOut) {
               ans[i] = p.toString().substring(0, p.length()-1);

           // This is guard. But I am not satisfied with this line :(
           if (message.length() == 1 && (message.charAt(0) == '2' || message.charAt(0) == '3')) {
               ans[i] = "NONE";

        return ans;

I wrote this code about 30 minutes. It is not enough to fight on SRM. And in addition to this, I am not satisfied with my algorithm expecially last clause. I don’t want to write exceptional logic as possible. If anyone write code about this problem, please inform me and give me a chance to look into your code.

Thank you.