Day 1: Solving Advent of Code 2020 in Haskell

Advent of Code is an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. People use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other.

As an exercise in learning Haskell, I’m trying to solve this group of well-made coding problems.


Let’s see the first problem, which is about the search in a sequence.
For example, we have this list:


We must find two numbers that sum to 2020 (of course). After that we need to multiply the pair, but this part isn’t difficult any way.


import Data.List as L

twoSum (x:xs)
    | x > 2020: twoSum xs
    | otherwise: case L.find (== 2020 - x) xs of
                    Just n -> Just (x * n)
                    Nothing -> twoSum xs

readInt x: read x:: Int

main: readFile "aoc01.txt" >>= print. twoSum . map readInt . words

Using singly-linked list as iterator(basic in Haskell), L.find looks up Maybe Int that satisfies needed condition.
print shows Just (some number), not some number, but this is enough for answer.

Part Two

This problem is followed by a little bit harder one: Search the three numbers that sum to 2020. So does we have to make subsequences of a sequence?
subsequences in Data.List costs high, and takes long time to finish if the sequence is big. In this case, instead of full-search, we should re-use the first answer code like this:

import Data.List as L

twoSum _ []: Nothing
twoSum n (x:xs)
    | x > n: twoSum n xs
    | otherwise: case L.find (== n - x) xs of
                    Just m -> Just (x * m)
                    Nothing -> twoSum n xs

threeSum []: Nothing
threeSum (x:xs)
    |x >= 2020: threeSum xs
    |otherwise: case twoSum (2020 - x) xs of
                   Just n -> Just (x * n)
                   Nothing -> threeSum xs

readInt x: read x:: Int

main: readFile "aoc01.txt" >>= print. threeSum . map readInt . words

Use twoSum in first answer as a helper, and finding three numbers becomes quite an easy task. Here, full-search is separated into two simple searchs.


With this problem, we can learn:

  • list as iterator
  • avoid full-search when you can

GitHub repository: kyoheiu/aoc2020-haskell