hello,

i am currently writing a program that contains

alot of simple deterministic algorithms.i have a problem with one of the algorithms. I know what this problem is so hopefullysomeone here can help. first let me set the scene by showing a

test scenario with limitedoptions.

- there is a grid of squares. The left 3 columns are filled blue or yellow.

- Randomly generated somewhere on the grid is a red square.

- a simple algorithm "finds" the red square.

- this algoritm then fills all squares left of the red square orange until rules/constraints are met

- A) the line stops when it hits a blue square

- B) each orange square can either

B1) remain the same

B2) turn white + the square above turns orange

B1 + B2 are constrained (constraint 1) in that the square above must be white.

B1 + B2 are constrained (constraint 2)in that only four squares can be moved up.

This "maximum of four squares works as follows. If a square is moved up one place, a "counter" (orangeUp)becomes orangeUp+1, and then the next orange square is looked at.

Now here is the problem. if the algorithm reaches the last orange square that has a white square below or above (ie constraint 1), and orangeUp has not reached 4 (constraint 2), the algoritm repeats until constraint 2 has reached 4. This means that instead of the orange square moving up once, it moves up 1 - 4 times. this is an example. (w = white, o = orange, b = blue)

Bwwwwwww Bowwwwww

Bwwwwwww Bwwwwwww

Bwwwwwww Bwwwwwww

Bwooooww Bwwwwwww

Bowwwwor Bwooooor

Bwwwwwww Bwwwwwww

Bwwwwwww Bwwwwwww

example 1 example2

in example 1, the algoritm works - 4 squares are moved up. this is because the algoritm started near the beginning of the orange trail.

in example 2, the algoritm doesnt work - the last square moves up 4 spaces. this is because the algorithm started at the last viable orange square. Going through constraint 2, orangeUp must reach 4.

here is the small snippet of code involved. Please note that i am aware some syntax is missing in this snippet, but in the full code its all there.

i hope you understand this. At least ive identified the problem.

im sure it can be solved in 1 line of code but i need suggestions! thankyou for reading.

Joseph