For example, if one piece becomes progressively lighter from left to right, it is likely that the piece nestles between a lighter piece on the left and a darker one on the right. In addition to solving puzzles, Gallagher also used elements of his algorithm to enter last year's DARPA Shredder Challenge, in which participants had to piece together a series of shredded documents. Gallagher's attempt came in at 17 overall he says because the puzzle pieces in the challenge were digital images of shredded documents made it harder for the algorithm, as the jagged edges did not line up perfectly and some pieces were missing. Ohad Ben-Shahar, a computer scientist at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel, whose team holds the previous puzzle-solving record, says that Gallagher's algorithm is impressive because it can handle puzzles in which the orientation of the pieces is unknown, a more challenging problem.
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