# How can I ask a question scored by complexity?

I want to post a challenge where the scoring is based on complexity but I don't know a) how to define this and b) how well it would be received.

As an example, say the FPU (Floating Point Unit) has been disabled and the challenge requires floating point arithmetic. If adding or subtracting two numbers is O(n) points, multiplying would be O(n2) points and dividing would be 2O(n2) points if bit-shifting is not included. I'm not sure if big O notation is the right way to express this, but hopefully you get the idea. So one way of implementing power xy by just multiplying by x (y-1) times would score (y-1)O(n2). Another method might be a lot faster/simpler.

How could I score this and should I even attempt such a thing?

• So the answer with the best time complexity would win? – Alex A. Feb 16 '16 at 6:49
• If you want to include factors of 2, O-notation is not the right tool. – Peter Taylor Feb 16 '16 at 8:17
• It's worth reading about asymptotic computational complexity and big O notation before considering posting a challenge scored by complexity. You'd be measuring how well an algorithm scales rather than the efficiency for a particular input, so a constant factor like 2 would not be relevant. – trichoplax Feb 25 '16 at 12:42