The Whodunit? Challenge

The Whodunit? Challenge

- by Microsoft Research India -

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you provide an example to help me understand the challenge?

Let's take an example secret sentence: A prospective participant is reading this sentence on a computing device today to learn more about The Whodunit? Challenge.

Of course, the above sentence is an example secret sentence and is not the real sentence which you have to find :-)

The example sentence has five parts: 'Who', 'What', 'Where', 'When' , 'Why'.
Who: A prospective participant
What: Is reading this sentence
Where: On a computing device
When: Today
Why: To learn more about The Whodunit? Challenge

When you give us a missed call, we will SMS you one of the five parts of the sentence (also referred as a clue). For instance, on giving a missed call, you may get an SMS which reads- Your clue is Who: 'A prospective participant'. Further missed calls will be ignored from your number. When your friends give a missed call, they may get a different clue. For instance, your friend may get an SMS which reads- Your clue is Where: 'On a computing device'.

Your task is to find out all these clues (i.e. all 5 parts of the sentence) and report them to us by sending them as an SMS to 09243316009. You can send each clue in its own SMS, or you can send multiple clues together.

In order to find the clues, you will have to build a large team. You should also consider designing an incentive model to attract more people to join your team in order to increase your chances to win the contest. First person to find all 5 clues will win 1 Lakh INR and the coveted title.

What languages are used in the contest?

We will distribute and accept clues in multiple languages. Every message from our system will be in two languages: English, as well as a local language from the telecom circle of the destination number.

Clues can be submitted in any language, so long as the text of your submission is exactly the same as our wording of the clue in that language. If you submit multiple clues, you are free to use different languages for each submission.

How do you decide which clue to send to a given phone number?

The clue sent to each phone number is selected at random. There is no advantage or disadvantage to having a particular phone number.

When does the contest start?

The contest phone number will become active on February 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM IST. You are free to start organizing teams in advance of this date.

How do I participate?

Participation is easy! Starting on February 1, give us a missed call at 02653090663 to receive one of the five clues surrounding the mystery case. Then, work with your friends to discover the remaining clues.

How do I submit a solution?

Submit each clue by sending an SMS to 09243316009. You can send each clue in a separate SMS, or you can combine them into a single SMS. The system will respond and tell you how many correct clues you have discovered so far.

Is there a limit to how many submissions I can make?

Yes. Every phone can make at most 10 submissions per day. Because the case is very difficult to solve, it is not to your advantage to try to guess the answer.

How will a winner be selected?

The first person to submit all five clues will be deemed the winner. However, if no one solves the complete case by February 15 (9:00 AM IST), then the person who has submitted the most number of correct clues up until that time will be deemed the winner. In the event of a tie, the first person to submit a given number of clues will win.

Why is Microsoft Research India sponsoring this challenge?

In the spirit of the DARPA Network Challenge in the United States, we are interested in how people can use information and communication technologies to mobilize large groups into solving difficult problems. While prior solutions have relied heavily on the Internet, we anticipate that different solutions will prevail in the Indian context, where mobile phones greatly out-number Internet connections.

What is your privacy policy?

Participation in the contest is voluntary. We will not publicly disclose any identifying information about a given phone number or individual, without obtaining their explicit consent. We may publish aggregate patterns of communication (in a scholarly research venue) or exemplar contest entries that do not reveal the identity of participants. Also, we may follow-up with high-performing individuals, via a telephone call, to understand their strategy for the contest.

Where can I learn about the winners of the contest?

Ongoing announcements regarding the contest, including the contest winners, will appear on this website.

Who is eligible to compete in the contest?

To compete in the contest, you must be an Indian citizen. Also, you as well as your immediate family and household must not be a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or someone who is involved in the organization of this contest.

Where can I read the official rules?

The official Terms and Conditions for the contest are available here.


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