# Are infinite score allowed by default for "lowest score win"?

1. Are submissions acceptable if their worst case score is unbounded?

I think it worth a default exist

# No, unless explicitly allowed.

• (Intuitively) it's quite unnatural to think about infinite score.
• It's uncommon to have infinite score, anyway. (for example, answers don't have infinite score)
• There may be different "types" of infinities.

However, challenge posters may say that

If an answer has the property XYZ, its score is considered to be infinite. All infinite-scored submissions are equal.

(there may be some tie-breakers, depends on the challenge)

or

If an answer has the property XYZ, then instead consider the asymptotic complexity of the score when [...]. Solutions with lower asymptotic complexity are better.

etc.

# Submissions need to be competitive.

That's all there is to it. If you are aiming for a low score, and you end up with an infinite score, that's probably not competitive.

From the wiki:

Be a serious contender for the winning criteria in use. For example, an entry to a code golf contest needs to be golfed, and an entry to a speed contest should make some attempt to be fast.

In other words, if there is an infinite score (or an infinite-score tiebreaker), this should be decided case-by-case, on the basis of whether they are competitive or not.

• 1. This has nothing to do with whether it's allowed. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:51
• 2. "competitive" is relative. If you get ∞ score but all existing answers are, and you still beat them in a tie-breaker then your solution is still competitive. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 2:52
• I agree with the header, but I think the body should be more clear that infinite scores can in some theoretical situations be competitive, as @user202729 is saying. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 4:03
• So, is it allowed? Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 4:04
• I'm saying here that we don't need a ruling one way or another. We determine if submissions are competitive using subjective judgement, not a list of rules. I don't think we need a rule saying "No infinite scores", as it is covered by "Be competitive". Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 23:30
• @user202729 re #2. Competitive is not relative, but it is subjective. Competitive means that there is clear effort towards achieving a low score. It doesn't matter whether or not it is better than other answers. Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 23:36
• @nathan If you already made a lot of effort and the score is still infinite, but it is better than all other answers, is it competitive? Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 5:10
• The key here is "effort". If that effort is visible, then yes. This is how we judge competitive answers. Whether it is better than all other answers is irrelevant. Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:01
• So, it is allowed right? ... please make it explicit in the answer. (the reason why OP ask this question is probably ∞ is not considered to be a real number) Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:03
• My answer is trying to shift the question, because I don't think the question "Can this submission have an infinite score" is the right question. The correct question is "Is this submission competitive". Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 14:08

# No for the 1st winning criticia but yes as a tie breaker

If the winner of other aspect has inf score on the tie breaker, that's fine; if more than one has same to here, treat the two inf as same unless explictly modified