From contest to results

The most commonly asked query after the prelims is โ€œWhen results?โ€. We understand that everyone is eager to know and start making plans for the regionals. We have been in the same position ourselves as contestants :slight_smile: So I thought I will give an overview of why exactly it takes time from prelims to announcing the results. Here are the steps that are done once the prelims contest ends:

Step 1: Verify contest behaviour

Here we do a variety of internal checks to ensure the contest went smoothly. Some examples of the checks are:

  • Were the queues stable during the contest?
  • Any server or frontend errors?
  • Our setting team meanwhile checks many of the solutions to make sure no weird things are happening with problems and test cases
  • We also wait for a day or so to see if any of the contestants report anything

Step 2: Automated plag checks

  • We run a bunch of scripts and start the automated plagiarism checks
  • Since there is a huge amount of submissions, this itself takes a while
  • Then we verify that the process itself was fine
  • Takes about a day

Step 3: Manually verify plag positive

  • Then a plag committee starts manually looking at the various positive matches to ensure that they are all true positives
  • This is the process that takes the most time (typically 5-7 days)
  • This is to ensure things like library code, template etc. are not penalised

Step 4: Manually handling various cases

  • In parallel to step 3, we also get a bunch of manual reports of various sorts which we go through and make any modifications required
  • Examples include teams cancelling later, teams with different members etc.
  • This also takes 5-7 days (but in parallel with step 3)

Step 5: Plag Appeal

  • Once plag checks are done, we mail all the teams disqualified. We then give them 2-3 days to file an appeal
  • Once the deadline passes, a separate team reviews each plag appeal and reaches a final decision
  • This is communicated to the team and all the results noted
  • So this takes 3-4 days

Step 6: Merge/Separate colleges

  • There are cases where same college are registered as different college in the ICPC system
  • There are also cases where different campuses are registered under same name - such cases are reviewed if manually reported by coaches
  • We manually check all these and make sure same colleges are considered as one unit

Step 7: Derive final ranklist

  • With all the previous modification, we write scripts to calculate the final ranklist
  • This is painstacking with a lot of edge cases and manual verification required
  • This takes 1 day best case

Step 8: Implement qualification criteria for all regionals

  • We need to write scripts for each regional to implement the qualifying criteria and get them verified
  • This takes half a day usually

Step 9: Share results with the regionals and get their approval

  • The regionals themselves like to manually verify the qualified teams too to ensure there is no mistake
  • This takes 1-2 days

Step 10: Announce the results

  • The day everyone is waiting for!

We hope you all get an idea of what goes on behind the scenes. From the moment the prelims contest ends to the moment results are announced, we are extremely busy with all this process.