Czech ACM Student Chapter

Czech Technical University in Prague

Charles University in Prague

Technical University of Ostrava

ˇ a

Slovak University of Technology

Pavol Jozef Saf´rik University in Koˇice

s

ˇ

University of Zilina

Masaryk University

Matej Bel University in Bansk´ Bystrica

a

University of West Bohemia

CTU Open Contest 2011

Collatz Conjecture

collatz.c, collatz.C, collatz.java, collatz.p

The Collatz Conjecture is an interesting phenomenon. Though its principle is very simple, it still

remains among unresolved problems in mathematics, even after many years of study. However,

the years of intensive research brought at least some results, which is a huge advantage of the

human race against the aliens, because they did not study the conjecture for so many years. We

want to keep this advantage.

Imagine a sequence defined recursively as follows: Start with any positive integer x0 (so-called

"starting value"). Then repeat the following:

· if xi is even, then xi+1 = xi/2 ("half ...")

· if xi is odd, then xi+1 = 3xi + 1 ("... or triple plus one")

The Collatz Conjecture says that every such sequence will eventually reach 1. It has still not

been proven until today but we already know for sure that this is true for every x0 < 258. (Never

tell this to aliens!)

In this problem, you are given two starting values and your task is to say after how many steps

their sequences "meet" for the first time (which means the first number that occurs in both

sequences) and at which number is it going to happen. For simplicity, we will assume that the

sequence does not continue once it has reached the number one. In reality, it would then turn

into 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, . . . , which quickly becomes boring.

Input Specification

The input contains several test cases. Each test case is described by a single line containing two

integer numbers A and B, 1 ≤ A, B ≤ 1 000 000.

The last test case is followed by a line containing two zeros.

Output Specification

For each test case, output the sentence "A needs SA steps, B needs SB steps, they meet

at C ", where SA and SB are the number of steps needed in both sequences to reach the same

number C . Follow the output format precisely.

Sample Input

78

27 30

00

Output for Sample Input

7 needs 13 steps, 8 needs 0 steps, they meet at 8

27 needs 95 steps, 30 needs 2 steps, they meet at 46