mikejuk writes: A pair of computer scientists from the Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and the University of Notre Dame (USA) have made some remarkable connections between Sudoku, the classic k-SAT problem, and the even more classic non-linear continuous dynamics.
But before we go into the detail let's look at what this means for Sudoku enthusiasts. Maria Ercsey-Ravasz and Zoltan Toroczkai have devised a scale that provides an accurate determination of a Sudoku puzzle's hardness. So when you encounter a puzzle labelled hard and you find it easy all you need to do is to compute its , a co-efficient that measures the hardness of the problem.
An easy puzzle should fall in the range 0 3 with the hardest puzzle, the notorious Platinum Blond being top of the scale with = 3.6. We will have to wait to see if newspapers and websites start to use this measure of difficulty.
The difficulty is measured by the time it takes the classical dynamics corresponding to the problem to settle in the ground state and this depends on the degree of chaos in the search for a solution.
The Chaos Within Sudoku (pdf)
"Card readers? We don't need no stinking card readers."
-- Peter da Silva (at the National Academy of Sciencies, 1965, in a
particularly vivid fantasy)