DWITE Online Computer Programming Contest
February 2008
Problem 4
Train ride

You are trying to navigate a complicated train system to arrive at your destination in the quickest time possible. Given a system's schematic with start and end points, calculate the shortest length possible.

The schematic will be made up of a number of characters:

It doesn't really matter what character represents the path. Consider the schematic to be a 2D array where every character with the exception of space and x as a valid path point. Diagonal moves are allowed. So every point has 8 possible connection points, and that connection is made if both characters are valid.

The input file DATA4.txt will contain 5 sets of data -- N lines per set, 10 characters in length, each set separated by a line of characters 'x'. 1 <= N <= 5 . Each set represents a system schematic as described above.

The output file OUT4.txt will contain 5 lines -- a minim travel length between S and E points.

Note: the dataset will contain a lot of whitespace, instead of typical dots. Make sure you can handle this data properly.

Sample Input (only first two sets shown):
S   .-E   
  `     ` 
  E     | 
  |     | 
Sample Output (only first two sets shown):