I stumbled upon an unaswered question, which looked like a good fit for a functional programming language.

Here is the problem statement from codeeval:



Credits: This challenge has appeared in a google competition before.

Once upon a time in a strange situation, people called a number ugly if it was divisible by any of the one-digit primes (2, 3, 5 or 7). Thus, 14 is ugly, but 13 is fine. 39 is ugly, but 121 is not. Note that 0 is ugly. Also note that negative numbers can also be ugly: -14 and -39 are examples of such numbers.

One day on your free time, you are gazing at a string of digits, something like:


You are amused by how many possibilities there are if you are allowed to insert plus or minus signs between the digits. For example you can make:

1 + 234 - 5 + 6 = 236

which is ugly. Or

123 + 4 - 56 = 71

which is not ugly.

It is easy to count the number of different ways you can play with the digits: Between each two adjacent digits you may choose put a plus sign, a minus sign, or nothing. Therefore, if you start with \$D\$ digits there are \$3^{D-1}\$ expressions you can make. Note that it is fine to have leading zeros for a number. If the string is 01023, then 01023, 0+1-02+3 and 01-023 are legal expressions.

Your task is simple: Among the \$3^{D-1}\$ expressions, count how many of them evaluate to an ugly number.


Your program should accept as its first argument a path to a filename. Each line in this file is one test case. Each test case will be a single line containing a non-empty string of decimal digits. The string in each test case will be non-empty and will contain only characters '0' through '9'. Each string is no more than 13 characters long. E.g.



Print out the number of expressions that evaluate to an ugly number for each test case, each one on a new line. E.g.


And here is my solution (ignoring the part about reading from a file)

type Expression =
    | Plus of Expression * Expression
    | Minus of Expression * Expression
    | Leaf of int64

let rec eval = function
    | Plus (left, right) -> (eval left) + (eval right)
    | Minus (left, right) -> (eval left) - (eval right)
    | Leaf n -> n

let rec expressions (s : string) =
    seq {
        yield Leaf (Int64.Parse(s))
        let n = s.Length
        for i in 1 .. n - 1 do
            let leaf = Leaf (Int64.Parse(s.Substring(0, i)))
            for e in expressions(s.Substring(i, n - i)) do
                yield Plus (leaf, e)
                yield Minus (leaf, e)

let rec isUgly (n : int64) : bool =
    if n < 0L then
        isUgly -n
        n = 0L || n % 2L = 0L || n % 3L = 0L || n % 5L = 0L || n % 7L = 0L

let countUglyNumbers (s : string) =
    expressions s |> Seq.map eval |> Seq.filter isUgly |> Seq.length

for input in ["1"; "9"; "011"; "12345"; "123456"; "1234566543215"] do
    printfn "%d" <| countUglyNumbers input

1 Answer 1


What is the purpose of the Expression type? Why doesn't expressions just return all the possible results?

This might be useful in other situations (like printing all the possibilities), but I don't see a reason for it here. Basically, it's an unnecessary level of abstraction.

if n < 0L then
    isUgly -n
    n = 0L || n % 2L = 0L || n % 3L = 0L || n % 5L = 0L || n % 7L = 0L

You don't need the special case for negative numbers, % works for them too.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point about Expression, I realised that soon after I posted :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mjolka
    Jul 21, 2014 at 12:38

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