Today I’m asked to build a small three instruction computer, and parse a series of instructions (puzzle input). I’m told that the instructions form an infinate loop, which is easy to identify in this simple computer any time an instruction is executed a second time. I’ll look at finding where that infinate loop is entered, as well as finding the one instruction that can be patched to fix the code. I’ll create a class for the computer with the thinking that I might be coming back to use it again and build on it later.

Challenge

The puzzle can be found here. It’s time to introduce an emulator. In past years, once I built this kind of emulator, I’d keep building on it over successive challenges. This one has three instructions:

  • acc [x] - Add x to the global accumulator value (starts at 0), and move to next instruction;
  • jump [x] - Move to instruction x away (forward or backwards with negative);
  • nop - No operation, move to next instruction

The boot code (my puzzle input) is corrupted so that it run in an infinate loop.

For part one, I’m asked to run the program until it reaches an instruction it already ran. Given the simplicity of the computer, this guarantees an infinate loop. Before running that instruction again, I’ll just exit and provide the accumulator value.

In part two, I’m told that there is either a jmp that should be a nop or a nop that should be a jmp, and that that one change will fix the infinate loop such that it runs the last instruction and then should exit.

Solution

Part 1

Given the chances that this computer will continue throughout the year, I opted to write a simple class for it:

class console:
    def __init__(self, puzzle_input):

        self.acc = 0
        self.prog = [
            (line.split(" ")[0], int(line.split(" ")[1])) for line in puzzle_input
        ]
        self.eip = 0
        self.executed_insts = set()


    def run(self):

        while self.eip not in self.executed_insts:
            self.executed_insts.add(self.eip)
            op, arg = self.prog[self.eip]
            if op == "acc":
                self.acc += arg
                self.eip += 1
            elif op == "jmp":
                self.eip += arg
            elif op == "nop":
                self.eip += 1
            else:
                raise ValueError(f"Invalid op code: [{self.eip}] {self.prog}")

On initialization, it will take the raw puzzle input and convert it to an array of instructions with two parts, the op code and the integer argument. It starts an eip variable to represent the current instruction, and initializes the accumulator to 0. It also starts an empty array to hold run instructions.

In the run function, it will loop as long as the instruction has not been executed before, updating based on the rules for the three op codes.

Now I’ll simply create a console object, call the run function, and then get the acc value:

with open(sys.argv[1], "r") as f:
    data = f.read().strip()

c = console(data)
print(c.run())
print(f"Part 1: {c.acc}")

Part 2

Now I need to track a second way to exit the loop, when the computer tries to run the instruction beyond the last one. I’ll leave the while condition the same, but add to the end of the loop code that checks if eip is now equal to the size of the list, and if so, return 0. Then I can have it return -1 if the while exits, so I’ll know an infinate loop was found.

I could add something to the computer that does the swap, but I want to keep the console class clean, so I’m going to manipulate the input before passing it in. I’ll loop over the lines of input, and for each line, I’ll continue if there’s an acc. Otherwise, I’ll make that swap in that line, and then run a new console using that one modified line. Whenever I get back a 0 (the program exited without loop), I’ll know I found the good input, and print the acc value.

for i in range(len(data)):
    if "acc" in data[i]:
        continue
    elif "jmp" in data[i]:
        mod = data[i].replace("jmp", "nop")
    elif "nop" in data[i]:
        mod = data[i].replace("nop", "jmp")
    else:
        raise ValueError(f"Invalid op code: [{self.eip}] {self.prog}")
    c = console(data[:i] + [mod] + data[i + 1 :])
    if c.run() == 0:
        print(f"Part 2: {c.acc}")
        break

This runs instantly and gives the values I’m looking for:

$ time python3 day8.py 08-puzzle_input.txt
Part 1: 1594
Part 2: 758

real    0m0.115s
user    0m0.101s
sys     0m0.012s

Final Code

#!/usr/bin/env python3

import sys


class console:
    def __init__(self, puzzle_input):

        self.acc = 0
        self.prog = [
            (line.split(" ")[0], int(line.split(" ")[1])) for line in puzzle_input
        ]
        self.eip = 0
        self.executed_insts = set()

    def run(self):

        while self.eip not in self.executed_insts:
            self.executed_insts.add(self.eip)
            op, arg = self.prog[self.eip]
            if op == "acc":
                self.acc += arg
                self.eip += 1
            elif op == "jmp":
                self.eip += arg
            elif op == "nop":
                self.eip += 1
            else:
                raise ValueError(f"Invalid op code: [{self.eip}] {self.prog}")
            if self.eip == len(self.prog):
                return 0
        return -1


with open(sys.argv[1], "r") as f:
    data = f.read().strip().split("\n")

c = console(data)
c.run()
print(f"Part 1: {c.acc}")

for i in range(len(data)):
    if "acc" in data[i]:
        continue
    elif "jmp" in data[i]:
        mod = data[i].replace("jmp", "nop")
    elif "nop" in data[i]:
        mod = data[i].replace("nop", "jmp")
    else:
        raise ValueError(f"Invalid op code: [{self.eip}] {self.prog}")
    c = console(data[:i] + [mod] + data[i + 1 :])
    if c.run() == 0:
        print(f"Part 2: {c.acc}")
        break