The Cheating Cases Saga

2 min read

This is in continuation with the cheating cases saga that has been keeping us busy since the last whole week. We use MOSS to find the plagiarized cases and it gives us good comprehensive results. However, the results still need to be manually verified since there may be some false positives. For a Medium to Hard level problem scanning through this list is relatively easy. However, the Long Challenge has close to 8000 successful submissions for the easiest problem and this is likely to increase. Scanning through the cheating cases in these problems is extremely frustrating and time consuming.

So, we thought we will go by some benchmarks and block and reduce the rating points of those people whose solutions match other solutions by greater than a certain %age. This can be different for different problems. While this worked in most cases, some people got penalized and got blocked wrongly. This is something we want to avoid. While we gave our number and email to everyone who got blocked so that they can call us and explain their case, it became extremely difficult for us to go through the emails as we got more than 200 of them already!
While we want to maintain the sanctity of our contests, we do not want to penalize someone who is not guilty. Even a suspension to a user for a couple of days for no fault of his can be frustrating. So we decided to unblock all the users and because of lack of better alternatives, we have decided to not block anyone from now on for a contest! However, we will still go ahead and reduce the ratings of anyone whom we find not adhering to our Code Of Conduct.

A repeat of this offence will result in permanent ban of the account. Ignorance of the Code Of Conduct is not going to fetch you any reprieve!

To be honest, we do not want to do this. But we are forced to. This is indeed frustrating. We did not make CodeChef for this. After every single contest, a big chunk of our time goes on in finding the cheating cases and banning people and then talking to them and replying to their emails. Should we better not invest this time in building a new feature or improving the website? Some plead guilty, some plead ignorance of the rules, some show arrogance while others try and make us believe that we are fools.

Yes, we are fools. For trying to come up with a platform that is only to help you all. For envisioning a place where we can learn by competing rather than cheating.
For now, after a lot of contemplation we have tentatively drawn the following plan of action:

  • The accounts blocked on suspicion of cheating will be unblocked.
  • The ratings for all the said accounts will be dropped.
  • The ratings for all the accounts found clean will be reinstated. (This may be take us a while)
  • If you think that your account has been penalized for wrong reasons, kindly get in touch with us and we will sort it out together. The onus of proving that you have not cheated lies on you.

While this may or may not be the most befitting alternative to deal with plagiarism in our contests, it is the only thing that seems feasible at this point.

If you have any suggestions or better way to deal with such plagiarism cases, you can write to us at: help@codechef.com

Or can call us at: (022) – 30797709

Regards,
Anup
Team CodeChef

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51 Replies to “The Cheating Cases Saga”

  1. i have used two account till now cos i don’t know that using two or more account is against code of conduct. but I HAVE NOT CHEATED for sure in any of the contest of codeshef. All codes submitted on both accounts are mine. I am just unaware of that rule. Will problem be solved?

      1. 😀 Cheating in short contests where wrong result matter in ranking Ex. Cook Off, you got penalty for every wrong answer. Its better to submit in fake account first, if everything is okay then submit in real account.
        Dude, this is also part of cheating, isn’t it?
        Guys, don’t assume fool.

  2. Dear Codechef,

    Thank you for making me realize that I was a fool who entered into the world of competetive programming through codechef.It will be really frustrating to see my rating getting dropped even after devoting my full time to October Challenge that too during college exams.It really hurts when u’ve solved 7 problems, all on ur own and due to inabiity of codechef to detect plagiarism in past contests, they take some step which affects some genuine accounts.All the hardwork that
    I’ve done over several months to bring my rank from several thousands to a 3 digit no.,will go in vain.And the contest after which I was expecting to enter into top 500, my rank will reach below the level from which I’ve started.One thing that I can say is that I’ve solved all the problems on my own,never consulted a friend even
    for the algo,and never referred IDEONE for referring to other’s code.

    As we all know MOSS system has some negatives apart from several positives.We’ve seen its failure in easy problems.But I’ve seen 2 accounts having character by character same code,but none of them was detected reason being they have made several wrong submissions before,but finally when one of them got the correct one,
    code was shared with the other.

    Some innocent people’s accounts are affected ,and nothing happened to few cheaters.This is not a positive sign for codechef community.Now I don’t have courage to again work hard for codechef rank, and again get blocked without doing something wrong.So, I am switching to a platform which employs accurate plagiarism detection
    method,provides inbuilt online IDE,efficient ranking update,no server crashes during short contests and …….

    BYE BYE CODECHEF,

    This was not expected from u.

    and All the best for ur future contests.Hoping that things will change.

    1. Dear Friend,

      Why ?

      Codechef is such a wonderful place where you enjoy competing. Long contests are always nice as they teach you something new every month. You too used to like Codechef few days ago ! Why say BYE to codechef just for a small mistake?

      Hope, you reconsider your descision !

      Happy Coding !

      PS : I am not a codechef admin.

      1. we codechefed as it rate us at global level coding all night to solve a problem that you will achieve a great rank and finally getting this iss so frustrating you cannot expect i had midsems i fucked midsem only for this what a fool i was getting lower cpi in iit

    2. don’t get demoralized by the ranking drop… if u really have not cheated then i’m sure that you would definitely have gained experience and learnt a lot while solving the problems…that is what matters the most… it’s not the rankings that define who you are… it’s the coder within you

    3. This happened to me as well. I have dedicated the entire 10 days for April Challenge and solved 4 problems completely and 2 problems partially. But they decreased my rating saying that i have involved in plagiarism. The entire effort i have put solving those problems got waste.My rank has been dropped down to 28000 from 7000 It takes me a long time to come back to my previous position. i was frustrated with the activities of the code chef team. I too have seen many codes that looks similar to my code. But they were not caught by MOSS. Many programmers who were not guilty were affected by this false judgement.
      I have submitted my code on April 5 and the person whose code matches with my code solved the problem on April 10 and I have no contact with that person since we belong to different states(I am from Tamil Nadu and he is from Uttar Pradesh). We both got affected due to this false plagiarism check

      I request the code chef team to re consider my code and restore my rating.

      1. Same thing happened with me in April Challenge. On top of that they have penalized me for the easiest question. Why someone, who can solve 5 questions by himself will need to cheat for the easiest one. Feel like a fool now.
        It’s time to leave codechef.

      1. @admin this was the first time during July Long Challenge I have used ideone and I don’t know to keep it private so if someone had copied my code and submitted it before me what will be my situation admin? I worked so hard for this contest , lost my end semester and I coded it while I was in hospital suffering from typhoid. In spite of doing the competition without considering my health codechef did a very good thing by sending a mail that I copied another’s code. Admin please help me.
        Id:suryavamsi

  3. I don’t know why for a small mistake I was penalised for a drop of 5000 rating .I did 8 question in the november challenge but was surprised to see my rating go down by so much. This is very demoralising .I worked from feb challange very hard to get a good rating and now I have to work so much hard just to reach the level i was previously at.

  4. I spent 10 days coding hard , sometimes 3 days coding a single problem, Do you guyz even care to check who copied from whom ?
    I kept my codes private all the time on Ideone, Somehow someone copied my code , The difference in the submissions being 3 hrs Atleast you should see who coded it first , if you talk about logic !! The experience is always good on codechef , but these things seriously demotivate the coders ( if high ratings motivate , low ratings demotivate accordingly )…. So , If you do really care about those who are benefitting from this platform , dont wrongly frame people solely based on MOSS , because codes matching doesnt mean that the person is involved in cheating ! username : amitthe and the person who cheated from me username : heartbreaker . Please look into the matter.

  5. yeah same thing happened with me. work hard for 8-9 days . some other guy codes or thinks the same way. its could be the matter of coincidence. but this is not correct.and the worst part is there is a drop of 4k ratings and other than the question which they think is copied , all other are also cancelled. i replied to the mail which was sent to me. but still no reply.
    please look into it. handle: mohitreddy1996

    1. Same happenned with me mohit.
      Why are they cancelling other solutions if someone has somehow managed to copy our code for one of the problems we solved?
      This makes the punishment harsher for solver than the copier.

  6. > Suggestion to CodeChef :

    I suggest that in cases where solver and copier can be identified, it will be better to reduce rating points on QUESTION BY QUESTION basis for solver.

    In this way, for every suspected problem, say 1000 points per problem (this can also be decided on the basis of problem’s hardness) can be deducted from solver’s profile. In this way, he/she will get a penalty for not being able to secure his code but will get due credit for solving other questions which are solely his own and no one has copied them !! And he will not feel as if he is being thugged of his proper and accepted submissions, his 10 days of hard work won’t just go in vain.

    *Whether a user is a solver or copier can be judged by the time of submission.( Or if anybody has a better approach to identify them. )

    Nowhere in the blog posts CodeChef Code Of Conduct or The Cheating Cases Saga I was able to find out that any other submissions should be affected.

    As of now the problem is, say Solver solved 7 questions and someone copied 1 of his solutions in a contest, then the rating of both of them is reduced by same amount and no credit is given in the contest. This means that CURRENT SYSTEM PENALISES THE SOLVER MUCH MORE THAN THE COPIER as he is not given due credit for solving other 6 problems in the contest. This seems quite unfair to me and I’ve seen (at discussion forum) that many users are facing the same problem. Solver, in such cases, is not as responsible as the copier and even if he is why is he being punished more than the copier.

    A solver should not be deprived of his other accepted solutions if any of his solutions is rejected and penalised for plagiarism.

    I would like to know what you all think about this method.

    Hope CodeChef team will understand and implement this suggestion.

  7. > Suggestion to CodeChef :

    I suggest that in plagiarism cases where solver and copier can be identified, it will be better to reduce rating points on QUESTION BY QUESTION (and not by Competition ) basis for solver.

    In this way, for every suspected problem, say 1000 points per problem (this can also be decided on the basis of problem’s hardness) can be deducted from solver’s profile. In this way, he/she will get a penalty for not being able to secure his code but will get due credit for solving other questions which are solely his own and no one has copied them !! And he will not feel as if he is being thugged of his proper and accepted submissions, his 10 days of hard work won’t just go in vain.

    *Whether a user is a solver or copier can be judged by the time of submission.( Or if anybody has a better approach to identify them. )

    Nowhere in the blog posts CodeChef Code Of Conduct or The Cheating Cases Saga I was not able to find out that any other submissions should be affected.

    As of now the problem is, say Solver solved 7 questions and someone copied 1 of his solutions in a contest, then the rating of both of them is reduced by same amount and no credit is given in the contest. This means that CURRENT SYSTEM PENALISES THE SOLVER MUCH MORE THAN THE COPIER as he is not given due credit for solving other 6 problems in the contest. This seems quite unfair to me and I’ve seen (at discussion forum) that many users are facing the same problem. Solver, in such cases, is not as responsible as the copier and even if he is why is he being punished more than the copier.

    A solver should not be deprived of his other accepted solutions if any of his solutions is rejected and penalised for plagiarism.

    I would like to know what you all think about this method.

    Hope CodeChef team will understand and implement this suggestion.

  8. My code was copied from my machine and was submitted. I came to know about it only when I received e-mail from codechef regarding false practice.
    I identified the copier (he is in same college) and he has confessed this in e-mail to codechef. I have also sent an e-mail to codechef explaining everything.
    I have been a regular participant from over a year. I have also started Codechef campus chapter in my college and have given many workshops to my juniors.
    I hope my ratings will be restored.

  9. Dear Codechef,
    I am very surprised that those solutions are matching with my solution , but I am very sure that I haven’t copied the code or even algorithm from anyone. Sir,I submitted my code within 10 minutes after the start of contest .So think about it how can anyone copy within that small time. I am very disappointed that you dropped my rating.So,please improve your “cheating check” skills and don’t do it again.It hurts too much .And if possible,correct my ratings.
    Thanks.

  10. This happened to me as well. I have dedicated the entire 10 days for April Challenge and solved 4 problems completely and 2 problems partially. But they decreased my rating saying that i have involved in plagiarism. The entire effort i have put solving those problems got waste.My rank has been dropped down to 28000 from 7000 It takes me a long time to come back to my previous position. i was frustrated with the activities of the code chef team. I too have seen many codes that looks similar to my code. But they were not caught by MOSS. Many programmers who were not guilty were affected by this false judgement.

    I have submitted my code on April 5 and the person whose code matches with my code solved the problem on April 10 and I have no contact with that person since we belong to different states(I am from Tamil Nadu and he is from Uttar Pradesh). We both got affected due to this false plagiarism check

    I have attached both the codes. Since we both used the same variable names that were given in the sample test case.The link to the question is https://www.codechef.com/APRIL16/problems/DEVGOSTR

    I request the code chef team to re consider my code and restore my rating.

  11. My sincere advise to everyone please never use ideone.
    I have invested so much time and my energy to solve sept long challenge 2016 and one stupid brainless guy copied my code as it is and due to that stupid guy my rating goes down to 4K from 10K.
    His name was Rahul Bhatia and his handle is rahul1714
    Beware of such stupid fellows.
    for proof I m giving my code which i have submitted on 9th Sept
    https://www.codechef.com/viewsolution/11392815
    and he submitted exact code of mine on 15th Sept
    https://www.codechef.com/viewsolution/11525589

    And request codechef please change some rules for plagiarism cases because many innocent peoples have to suffer huge loses because of some unkwown useless guy.. 🙁 🙁

  12. i did’nt know how its happen”We will be dropping your CYPHER ratings and disqualifying all the submissions of your account on grounds of using false practice during CYPHER NOVEMBER 2016 . We found few of your codes similar with one another user and would like to have an explanation about the same from you” . but i do all the programme by my self.is there is any mean to prove me”like give different programme then make you realize that i am wrong panelized”.

  13. Dear Codechef,
    I’ve not violated any of the rules of codechef. I really don’t know how my code is very same with the other user(onestep123), i’ve not cheated the code from anywhere and it was all written by me, and what I think that is that you people should check whether the two persons between whom you are comparing the codes have some relation or not,I’m having no contact with this other user of codechef again saying I’m in no contact with this person and don’t even know him/her.I don’t know how my solution got to this user but seriously codechef you first should check all the conditions carefully because it hurts a lot that we solve a question and even after solving it this is our result I’m constantly trying to improve my rank in lunchtime as i’ve not solved many in it as compared to long challenge but if you’ll drop my rank now it’ll be like starting from scratch.
    In that last I would just say this that it’s not right that because of someones mistake other person has to suffer.

  14. Dear Codechef ,
    I have registered my team in Snackdown 2017 ,this is my first Team event on codechef as I am a newbie . i would like to confess that i have taken a code from another team . please tell me what will happen .
    please dont take action on the team from whom i have taken the code .
    plzz reaply soon…

  15. I was unknown about ideone that code from ideone someone can access . And I used it in August Cook-Off 2018 Division 2 .And another user sid6678 has accessed my code of question
    MIXGA

    anyway and my rating has been reduced by 275 points.So please
    do something.

  16. Dear codechef,

    i genuinely did the whole question myself and completely devoted my time for the long challenge ,but suddenly today i saw someone submitted the same code after me with the same solution ,the one who submitted the same had username surajtkh,i checked his profile and it was his first contest

    i dont know how he got my code but i can assure you that the user isnt even related to me
    these are the two corresponding –
    https://www.codechef.com/viewsolution/19551480
    https://www.codechef.com/viewsolution/19626496
    my username is hst005
    please consider the case

    1. Moreover i just found that his profile(surajtkh) shows that he did not solve the particular problem
      i dont know whats the case behind my solution submitted by him(if it is) but i can assure you that this wasnt by me

  17. Hi there,

    Recently I was flagged with a plagiarism check on a codechef competition. I wanna know WHY? .
    Yes i Saw the other guy solution and it looked quite similar to mine but it doesnt mean that I have copied my code.

    I will explain you why!!…

    Reason 1) His all test cases did not got accepted mine did. If we would have copied from one another both of our codes would have yielded similar results.

    Reason 2) The question was pretty basic and straight forward with an easy solution lot of people might have done the same thing that I did. I have solved far more complex problem than that and I didnt needed anyone else help.

    I dont know i anyone is actually reading our comments but if they do please have a look at it.

    Username- pieraj90

  18. This happened to me . I have dedicated my time to January long challenge and solved 2 problems completely and 1 problem partially. But they decreased my rating saying that i have involved in plagiarism. My rank has been dropped down due to this. I agree with that plagiarism is wrong but we take some ideas of my friends their will be our ideology know .

  19. Dear codechef,
    I have been caught in plagarism and that’s not wrong ,my code matches with one of my friend.But this has been done unknowingly from my side.So,I may be penalized or not it’s up to Codechef.

  20. Dear codechef
    I didn’t copy any of other user code . It was not my fault .first of all question was easy and there was a possible a simple brute Force approach and many of the user try same type of solution so the answer was matched correctly.

  21. i have used two account till now cos i don’t know that using two or more account is against code of conduct. but I HAVE NOT CHEATED for sure in any of the contest of codeshef. All codes submitted on both accounts are mine. I am just unaware of that rule. Will problem be solved?

    But I don’t desobey any rule I just try code with another apporoch there

  22. Sometimes you can get a wrong acquisition for plagiarism. All of these automatic checkers aren’t 100% right. I have not cheated in April20B contest may the same approach .so please help me and don’t decrease my rating

  23. this was the first time during April Long Challenge I have used ideone and I don’t know to keep it private so Sir, if someone had copied my code and submitted it , I don’t know about this.

    And my code doesnot copy to anyone, i am also doing may challenge as well if I am copy the code then I am doing 4 th question full but it is partial submission.

  24. Hello I am doing competitive coding in CodeChef from the last 4-5 months and I have participated approx 10-12 contest and I have solved questions with my own logic, and you send me mail that you did cheating in the contest and your marks deduct 275. and you send me two links one is mine code and the other is someone else. it is clearly seen that I have submitted my code during the contest while he or she submitted after the contest and you also know that after the contest anyone can see the code, it is not my fault, and when I am trying to reply that mail through help@codechef.com you reply me that do not again reply otherwise your account will be blocked. what is going on CodeChef?

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