In this assignment, you will implement three inference algorithms for the popular puzzle game Sudoku.
A skeleton file homework4.py containing empty definitions for each question has been provided. Since portions of this assignment will be graded automatically, none of the names or function signatures in this file should be modified. However, you are free to introduce additional variables or functions if needed.
You may import definitions from any standard Python library, and are encouraged to do so in case you find yourself reinventing the wheel. If you are unsure where to start, consider taking a look at the data structures and functions defined in the collections
, copy
, and itertools
modules.
You will find that in addition to a problem specification, most programming questions also include one or two examples from the Python interpreter. In addition to performing your own testing, you are strongly encouraged to verify that your code gives the expected output for these examples before submitting.
It is highly recommended that you follow the Python style guidelines set forth in PEP 8, which was written in part by the creator of Python. However, your code will not be graded for style.
Once you have completed the assignment, you should submit your file on Gradescope. You may submit as many times as you would like before the deadline, but only the last submission will be saved.
In the game of Sudoku, you are given a partiallyfilled $9 \times 9$ grid, grouped into a $3 \times 3$ grid of $3 \times 3$ blocks. The objective is to fill each square with a digit from 1 to 9, subject to the requirement that each row, column, and block must contain each digit exactly once.
In this section, you will implement the AC3 constraint satisfaction algorithm for Sudoku, along with two extensions that will combine to form a complete and efficient solver.
A number of puzzles have been made available on the course website for testing, including:
An easydifficulty puzzle: easy.txt
.
Four mediumdifficulty puzzles: medium1.txt
, medium2.txt
, medium3.txt
, and medium4.txt
.
Two harddifficulty puzzles: hard1.txt
and hard2.txt
.
The examples in this section assume that these puzzle files have been placed in a folder named sudoku
located in the same directory as the homework file.
An example puzzle originally from the Daily Pennsylvanian, available as medium1.txt
, is depicted below.




Textual Representation  Initial Configuration  Solved Configuration 
[3 points] In this section, we will view a Sudoku puzzle not from the perspective of its grid layout, but more abstractly as a collection of cells. Accordingly, we will represent it internally as a dictionary mapping from cells, i.e. (row, column) pairs, to sets of possible values.
In the Sudoku
class, write an initialization method __init__(self, board)
that stores such a mapping for future use. Also write a method get_values(self, cell)
that returns the set of values currently available at a particular cell.
In addition, write a function read_board(path)
that reads the board specified by the file at the given path and returns it as a dictionary. Sudoku puzzles will be represented textually as 9 lines of 9 characters each, corresponding to the rows of the board, where a digit between "1"
and "9"
denotes a cell containing a fixed value, and an asterisk "*"
denotes a blank cell that could contain any digit.
>>> b = read_board("sudoku/medium1.txt")
>>> Sudoku(b).get_values((0, 0))
set([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9])
>>> b = read_board("sudoku/medium1.txt")
>>> Sudoku(b).get_values((0, 1))
set([1])
[2 points] Write a function sudoku_cells()
that returns the list of all cells in a Sudoku puzzle as (row, column) pairs. The line CELLS = sudoku_cells()
in the Sudoku
class then creates a classlevel constant Sudoku.CELLS
that can be used wherever the full list of cells is needed. Although the function sudoku_cells()
could still be called each time in its place, that approach results in a large amount of repeated computation and is therefore highly inefficient. The ordering of the cells within the list is not important, as long as they are all present.
>>> sudoku_cells()
[(0, 0), (0, 1), (0, 2), (0, 3), (0, 4), ..., (8, 5), (8, 6), (8, 7), (8, 8)]
[3 points] Write a function sudoku_arcs()
that returns the list of all arcs between cells in a Sudoku puzzle corresponding to inequality constraints. In other words, each arc should be a pair of cells whose values cannot be equal in a solved puzzle. The arcs should be represented a twotuples of cells, where cells themselves are (row, column) pairs. The line ARCS = sudoku_arcs()
in the Sudoku
class then creates a classlevel constant Sudoku.ARCS
that can be used wherever the full list of arcs is needed. The ordering of the arcs within the list is not important, as long as they are all present.
>>> ((0, 0), (0, 8)) in sudoku_arcs()
True
>>> ((0, 0), (8, 0)) in sudoku_arcs()
True
>>> ((0, 8), (0, 0)) in sudoku_arcs()
True
>>> ((0, 0), (2, 1)) in sudoku_arcs()
True
>>> ((2, 2), (0, 0)) in sudoku_arcs()
True
>>> ((2, 3), (0, 0)) in sudoku_arcs()
False
[7 points] In the Sudoku
class, write a method remove_inconsistent_values(self, cell1, cell2)
that removes any value in the set of possibilities for cell1
for which there are no values in the set of possibilities for cell2
satisfying the corresponding inequality constraint. Each cell argument will be a (row, column) pair. If any values were removed, return True
; otherwise, return False
.
Hint: Think carefully about what this exercise is asking you to implement. How many values can be removed during a single invocation of the function?
>>> sudoku = Sudoku(read_board("sudoku/easy.txt")) # See below for a picture.
>>> sudoku.get_values((0, 3))
set([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9])
>>> for col in [0, 1, 4]:
... removed = sudoku.remove_inconsistent_values((0, 3), (0, col))
... print(removed, sudoku.get_values((0, 3)))
...
True set([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9])
True set([1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9])
False set([1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9])
[10 points] In the Sudoku
class, write a method infer_ac3(self)
that runs the AC3 algorithm on the current board to narrow down each cell’s set of values as much as possible. Although this will not be powerful enough to solve all Sudoku problems, it will produce a solution for easydifficulty puzzles such as the one shown below. By “solution”, we mean that there will be exactly one element in each cell’s set of possible values, and that no inequality constraints will be violated.

easy.txt



Initial Configuration  Result of Running AC3 
[25 points] Consider the outcome of running AC3 on the mediumdifficulty puzzle shown below. Although it is able to determine the values of some cells, it is unable to make significant headway on the rest.

medium2.txt



Initial Configuration  Inference Beyond AC3 
However, if we consider the possible placements of the digit 7 in the upperright block, we observe that the 7 in the third row and the 7 in the final column rule out all but one square, meaning we can safely place a 7 in the indicated cell despite AC3 being unable to make such an inference.
In the Sudoku
class, write a method infer_improved(self)
that runs this improved version of AC3, using infer_ac3(self)
as a subroutine (perhaps multiple times). You should consider what deductions can be made about a specific cell by examining the possible values for other cells in the same row, column, or block. Using this technique, you should be able to solve all of the mediumdifficulty puzzles.
[25 points] Although the previous inference algorithm is an improvement over the ordinary AC3 algorithm, it is still not powerful enough to solve all Sudoku puzzles. In the Sudoku
class, write a method infer_with_guessing(self)
that calls infer_improved(self)
as a subroutine, picks an arbitrary value for a cell with multiple possibilities if one remains, and repeats. You should implement a backtracking search which reverts erroneous decisions if they result in unsolvable puzzles. For efficiency, the improved inference algorithm should be called once after each guess is made. This method should be able to solve all of the harddifficulty puzzles, such as the one shown below.

hard1.txt



Initial Configuration  Result of Inference with Guessing 
In this section, you will develop an AI for a game in which two players take turns placing $1 \times 2$ dominoes on a rectangular grid. One player must always place his dominoes vertically, and the other must always place his dominoes horizontally. The last player who successfully places a domino on the board wins.
As with the Tile Puzzle, an infrastructure that is compatible with the provided GUI has been suggested. However, only the search method will be tested, so you are free to choose a different approach if you find it more convenient to do so.
The representation used for this puzzle is a twodimensional list of Boolean values, where True
corresponds to a filled square and False
corresponds to an empty square.
[0 point] In the DominoesGame
class, write an initialization method __init__(self, board)
that stores an input board of the form described above for future use. You additionally may wish to store the dimensions of the board as separate internal variables, though this is not required.
[0 point] Suggested infrastructure.
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method get_board(self)
that returns the internal representation of the board stored during initialization.
>>> b = [[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.get_board()
[[True, False], [True, False]]
Write a toplevel function create_dominoes_game(rows, cols)
that returns a new DominoesGame
of the specified dimensions with all squares initialized to the empty state.
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(2, 2)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(2, 3)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False, False],
[False, False, False]]
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method reset(self)
which resets all of the internal board’s squares to the empty state.
>>> b = [[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g.reset()
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.get_board()
[[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g.reset()
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False], [False, False]]
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method is_legal_move(self, row, col, vertical)
that returns a Boolean value indicating whether the given move can be played on the current board. A legal move must place a domino fully within bounds, and may not cover squares which have already been filled.
If the vertical
parameter is True
, then the current player intends to place a domino on squares (row, col)
and (row + 1, col)
. If the vertical
parameter is False
, then the current player intends to place a domino on squares (row, col)
and (row, col + 1)
. This convention will be followed throughout the rest of the section.
>>> b = [[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.is_legal_move(0, 0, True)
True
>>> g.is_legal_move(0, 0, False)
True
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.is_legal_move(0, 0, False)
False
>>> g.is_legal_move(0, 1, True)
True
>>> g.is_legal_move(1, 1, True)
False
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method legal_moves(self, vertical)
which yields the legal moves available to the current player as (row, column) tuples. The moves should be generated in rowmajor order (i.e. iterating through the rows from top to bottom, and within rows from left to right), starting from the topleft corner of the board.
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(3, 3)
>>> list(g.legal_moves(True))
[(0, 0), (0, 1), (0, 2), (1, 0), (1, 1), (1, 2)]
>>> list(g.legal_moves(False))
[(0, 0), (0, 1), (1, 0), (1, 1), (2, 0), (2, 1)]
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> list(g.legal_moves(True))
[(0, 1)]
>>> list(g.legal_moves(False))
[]
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method perform_move(self, row, col, vertical)
which fills the squares covered by a domino placed at the given location in the specified orientation.
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(3, 3)
>>> g.perform_move(0, 1, True)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, True, False],
[False, True, False],
[False, False, False]]
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(3, 3)
>>> g.perform_move(1, 0, False)
>>> g.get_board()
[[False, False, False],
[True, True, False],
[False, False, False]]
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method game_over(self, vertical)
that returns whether the current player is unable to place any dominoes.
>>> b = [[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.game_over(True)
False
>>> g.game_over(False)
False
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.game_over(True)
False
>>> g.game_over(False)
True
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method copy(self)
that returns a new DominoesGame
object initialized with a deep copy of the current board. Changes made to the original puzzle should not be reflected in the copy, and vice versa.
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(4, 4)
>>> g2 = g.copy()
>>> g.get_board() == g2.get_board()
True
>>> g = create_dominoes_game(4, 4)
>>> g2 = g.copy()
>>> g.perform_move(0, 0, True)
>>> g.get_board() == g2.get_board()
False
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method successors(self, vertical)
that yields all successors of the puzzle for the current player as (move, newgame) tuples, where moves themselves are (row, column) tuples. The second element of each successor should be a new DominoesGame
object whose board is the result of applying the corresponding move to the current board. The successors should be generated in the same order in which moves are produced by the legal_moves(self, vertical)
method.
>>> b = [[False, False], [False, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> for m, new_g in g.successors(True):
... print(m, new_g.get_board())
...
(0, 0) [[True, False], [True, False]]
(0, 1) [[False, True], [False, True]]
>>> b = [[True, False], [True, False]]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> for m, new_g in g.successors(True):
... print(m, new_g.get_board())
...
(0, 1) [[True, True], [True, True]]
Optional.
In the DominoesGame
class, write a method get_random_move(self, vertical)
which returns a random legal move for the current player as a (row, column) tuple. The random
module contains a function random.choice(seq)
which returns a random element from its input sequence.
[20 points] In the DominoesGame
class, write a method get_best_move(self, vertical, limit)
which returns a $3$element tuple containing the best move for the current player as a (row, column) tuple, its associated value, and the number of leaf nodes visited during the search. Recall that if the vertical
parameter is True
, then the current player intends to place a domino on squares (row, col)
and (row + 1, col)
, and if the vertical
parameter is False
, then the current player intends to place a domino on squares (row, col)
and (row, col + 1)
. Moves should be explored rowmajor order, described in further detail above, to ensure consistency.
Your search should be a faithful implementation of the alphabeta search given on page 170 of the course textbook, with the restriction that you should look no further than limit
moves into the future. To evaluate a board, you should compute the number of moves available to the current player, then subtract the number of moves available to the opponent.
>>> b = [[False] * 3 for i in range(3)]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.get_best_move(True, 1)
((0, 1), 2, 6)
>>> g.get_best_move(True, 2)
((0, 1), 3, 10)
>>> b = [[False] * 3 for i in range(3)]
>>> g = DominoesGame(b)
>>> g.perform_move(0, 1, True)
>>> g.get_best_move(False, 1)
((2, 0), 3, 2)
>>> g.get_best_move(False, 2)
((2, 0), 2, 5)
If you implemented the suggested infrastructure described in this section, you can play with an interactive version of the dominoes board game using the provided GUI by running the following command:
python3 homework4_dominoes_game_gui.py rows cols
The arguments rows
and cols
are positive integers designating the size of the board.
In the GUI, you can click on a square to make a move, press ‘r’ to perform a random move, or press a number between $1$ and $9$ to perform the best move found according to an alphabeta search with that limit. The GUI is merely a wrapper around your implementations of the relevant functions, and may therefore serve as a useful visual tool for debugging.
[1 point] Approximately how many hours did you spend on this assignment?
[2 point] Which aspects of this assignment did you find most challenging? Were there any significant stumbling blocks?
[2 point] Which aspects of this assignment did you like? Is there anything you would have changed?