# Memory Reallocation — Python — #adventofcode Day 6

In which I relive a programming exercise from my masters course.

Today’s challenge asks us to follow a recipe for redistributing objects in memory that bears a striking resemblance to the rules of the African game Mancala.

```
import math
def reallocate(mem):
max_val = -math.inf
size = len(mem)
for i, x in enumerate(mem):
if x > max_val:
max_val = x
max_index = i
i = max_index
mem[i] = 0
remaining = max_val
while remaining > 0:
i = (i + 1) % size
mem[i] += 1
remaining -= 1
return mem
def detect_cycle(mem):
mem = list(mem)
steps = 0
prev_states = {}
while tuple(mem) not in prev_states:
prev_states[tuple(mem)] = steps
steps += 1
mem = reallocate(mem)
return (steps, steps - prev_states[tuple(mem)])
initial_state = map(int, input().split())
print("Initial state is ", initial_state)
steps, cycle = detect_cycle(initial_state)
print("Steps to cycle: ", steps)
print("Steps in cycle: ", cycle)
```

Commentary

When I was doing my MSci, one of our programming exercises was to write (in Haskell, IIRC) a program to play a Mancala variant called Oware, so this had a nice ring of nostalgia.

Back to Python today: it’s already become clear that it’s by far my most fluent language, which makes sense as it’s the only one I’ve used consistently since my schooldays. I’m a bit behind on the blog posts, so you get this one without any explanation, for now at least!