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ICPCPandemicStrategy

(2021-01-06 23:18:38)
标签:

icpc-asia

icpc-hq

pandemicstrategy

it

黄金雄(西杰)

分类: ICPC-World-Finals

ICPC Pandemic Strategy


ICPC Pandemic Recommended Considerations (not required guidelines)


Though these are challenging times globally for traditional, in-person ICPC contests, the ICPC is all about problem-solving.  We can and will continue to create opportunities for university students to develop excellence in problem-solving.  As always, we want the most students from most universities to compete.  Thanks to all ICPC volunteers from around the globe.  We all sleep better at night, knowing that ICPC has volunteers and advocates who are the best problem solvers globally.


The following document contains a list of recommendations for consideration by ICPC contests.  This document borrows heavily from existing pandemic strategy documents from NERC, SWERC, and North America.

Goals

  • Conduct a safe competition.

  • Conduct a fair competition.

  • Maintain the integrity of the competition.

  • Allow participation of every eligible contestant who wants to compete.


Health Considerations

  • Comply with all university, local, and national regulations

  • Request list of special university restrictions from coaches well in advance (e.g., travel restrictions, etc.)

  • Engage and work with pandemic preparedness committees at your institution, event venues

  • Be prepared to conduct appropriate participant screening for infection, including questionnaires, temperature checks, etc.

  • Avoid unsafe and unnecessary gatherings.

  • Be prepared to provide preventative supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer for all participants who do not bring them.

  • Be prepared to provide contact tracing.

  • Have a medical plan, including sequestration, etc.


Rules

  • Rules and rules changes should be thoroughly reviewed by the appropriate group(s).

  • Any special rules created to deal with the pandemic should be clearly labeled as temporary.

  • Make sure all rules are updated and published on your contest website. Link your contest website to your contest in icpc.global.

  • Consider allowing individual computer use. Limit to a maximum of one device per contestant.  This requirement may significantly increase proctoring, power, network, space, spare equipment, and technical support requirements, so plan early for these increases.

  • Make sure the rules clearly define advancement at each level.

  • The rules make it clear how the decision process works for unforeseen circumstances, exception requests, etc.  Make it clear, in writing, where final decision-making authority rests for your contest (e.g., contest director, chief judge, etc.).

  • Make it clear that any changes due to the pandemic are only for this year and should not be construed as long-term or multi-year changes.

  • For online contests, make any new boundaries/restrictions explicit and clear, such as required VMs, restricted communication, restrictions on the use of third-party materials, etc.

  • Where appropriate, make any consequences (e.g., disqualification) clear and known.  Make it clear who determines the breach of rules and consequences.

  • Consider having all participants sign/agree to a code of conduct, etc.

Considerations

  • Contests may consist of a mix of onsite and online modes. Fairness must be maintained.

  • Carefully train staff so that everybody applies the same rules, understands the same justifications, etc.

Contest Operations

[Taken almost verbatim from NA pandemic strategy]


A few things to keep in mind:


  • Contest security is critical to the competition; however, security is about risk management, not risk elimination.

  • While technological solutions might increase security and decrease workload, complexity may bring a higher risk of failure in setup and execution.  




Threat classification

What steps to take depends on what the current threat level is. We will classify the threat into four different levels, based on how universities are responding as follows:


3. Universities are closed (or completely online)  

2. Universities are open but do not allow contest area on campus

1. Universities are open, contests allowed on campus, but no travel to other sites

0. Business as usual


Do note that the threat level is not global and can differ for different regional contests and universities. In particular, the level for a particular region should probably be considered the highest level of all (or most) universities in that region. I.e., if some (a non-negligible number) of universities in a region is at level 2, that region needs a solution for that level, even if many other universities are at level 0. 


Also note that the hope is that the levels will go down over time (although we do not know this, at least not over the timeframes that contests reasonably could delay). Regionals will have to choose between running a contest and level or waiting to run it later at a hopefully lower level. The purpose of this document is only to make recommendations for best practices for how to handle a specific level, not how to choose the tradeoff between time and threat level.


General principles

Regardless of the threat level, we want every team to be proctored. We consider acceptable proctoring, depending on the threat level, to be either. 


  • (at threat level 0-3) the normal in-person proctoring, under the supervision of a head proctor approved by the regional director (i.e., a “site director,” however small the “site” is),

  • (at threat level 2 and 3) a video feed (with sound). The video feed should have all team members, the team computer screen, and the immediate surrounding desk area. This implies that an external video such as a mobile phone would need to be used since a webcam in the computer used would not capture all that.

  • (at threat level 3) three video feeds (with sound). Each video is showing the team member and preferably the screen of their computer. This implies that a webcam built into the computer user could be acceptable, but an external camera would be better.

The proctoring model does not have to be the same for different sites in the same region. I.e., if some sites in a region have a “site director” (i.e., a regional director approved head proctor), teams at those sites would not need a video feed, while teams at other sites would.


The video feed should be recorded locally as well as being streamed to central proctors for the region. This allows the team to upload the video file after the contest if there is a disruption of the video feed due to, e.g., issues with the internet connection.


For most threat levels below, the contest system would have to run over a (or the) internet. This should not be a problem; all the current (as of last year) systems used in NA have this capability. Also, for regions that already run multisite (most of them), this is not new.


Level 0 - Business as usual.

If a region decides that it is at level 0, all or most universities are at level 0. The few universities at a higher level (if any) will not participate because of travel restrictions or inability to form their own sites.


This means that we can run the contest as usual. We know how to do this.


Level 1 - No travel to other sites.

If a region decides that it is at level 1, all or most universities are at level 1 or lower. The few universities at a higher level (if any) will not be able to participate.


Universities at level 0 can travel to central sites (i.e., our normal sites). Universities at level 1, on the other hand, would all need to host their own sites. Examples of local sites include labs on campus or nearby businesses or public libraries where computers are available, and proctors can be found. Whether it makes sense to have any central locations would depend on the number of universities at level 0.


Given that we can get the local sites (and trusted head proctors), the contest would be normal. 


It is possible (but somewhat unlikely) that we will have local sites without proctors. If so, they must be proctored with video, as described above. We say this is unlikely simply because it does not seem likely that a university would be willing to provide the space if there wasn’t some local trusted person responsible for the event. That person would presumably be a good candidate for the head proctor.


Level 2 - No contest area on campus

If a region decides that it is at level 2, all or most universities are at level 2 or lower. The few universities at a higher level (if any) will not be able to participate.


Universities at level 0 and 1 can participate as above. Each team at universities at level 2 needs their own “site.” Either a separate room per team on campus or at the homes of contestants.


It is improbable we can find individual proctors for all teams. This means all (or at least most) teams need to be proctored with video, as described above.


Level 3 - Universities are closed (or completely online)

If a region decides that it is at level 3, all universities will be allowed to participate.


Compared to level 2, this means that we can not assume that contestants are in the same place, maybe not even the same city (or state, or country).


Each contestant will have their own computer. Universities at levels 0, 1, and 2 can participate as above, except that they will also be allowed to use three computers per team. We will not try to enforce limitations on using these computers, effectively “time-sharing” them. It’s not that this would be impossible. Still, all solutions introduce significant technical risk, and simply allowing the team to use all three computers in parallel is the much simpler and safer option.

Online Proctoring Approaches


If cheating is possible, those with honor will be at a significant disadvantage.  In other words, it will reward those with questionable honor.


Levels:

  • Honor-code-based:  Clearly explain rules to all participants.  Rules should explain what resources, devices, communication, etc. which are allowed/disallowed. Articulate dos and don't.  Explain why fairness is important and how advancing without the skills will just result in embarrassment and suspicion at the next round.  Get each participant to agree to the rules.
    Pro:  Easy to implement
    Con:  Easy to circumvent

  • VPN: Create a VPN server that does not allow split tunneling.  Limit VPN destinations to CCS.
    Pro:  Relatively easy to implement
    Con:  Easy to use second device or VM.

  • Contestant OS Create a USB-bootable, live OS.
    Pro:  Consistent environment
    Con:  Technical support is time-consuming and complex.  Hard to create one (or small number) of fully compatible bootable OSs.

  • Contestant VM: Create a VM to run locally.  VM should be able to detect if it is not in the foreground.  More specific materials/guidelines are available if needed.
    Pro:  Consistent environment.  Easier to create a universal version than bare-metal OS.
    Con:  Technical support is time-consuming and complex.  Need to manage minimum constant system requirements.

  • Local Proctoring Ask a trusted party to monitor such as a coach or local volunteer.  Proctors should also follow the honor-code approach.
    Pro:  Much harder to cheat (hopefully)
    Con:  Much harder to find trusted volunteers; exposes volunteers to infection.

  • Post Contest Interview Question top teams on their solution.
    Pro: Can vet skills of teams that may advance.
    Con: May be hard to detect if a solution was submitted by the team.  Members could shift responsibility to each other to create confusion.  Need to determine the threshold where willing to make an accusation of cheating.  Could make the interview part of the scoring to avoid direct accusations of cheating.

  • Video Monitoring: Place camera in position to monitor student activity, including screen (typical webcams may have limited effect as it just points directly at contestant's face).
    Pro: More confidence in integrity.  Reviewable offline.  Replayable.
    Con:  Need some verifiable way to record and access that survives network outage.  This requires lots of storage + bandwidth, recording app, etc.

These could be combined.

Additional analysis:

  • Software similarity comparison between teams

  • Submission timing analysis

  • Cheating detection site for external resources

Such analysis could be focused only on top teams.


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