Results are now out here!

Congratulations offset prediction for winning the challenge!

Don't worry if you missed out, the controller code as well as all the bots that competed are all in the Github repo, so you can always test your bot against those that competed in the challenge yourself.


(Hover for more info)

This challenge, inspired by the xkcd comic above, is where bots must try to maximise their grades for two subjects: Cybersecurity and Game Theory.


All of the bots presumably have adequate hacking skills to change their own score to whatever they desire within the range of 0-100. This may or may not be due to the fact that the school security systems are rubbish.

Each round, the bots will receive last round's cybersecurity scores in no particular order in an array as input. This is to help make informed decisions about their opponents.


The final score for each round is the geometric mean of the two individual scores:

  • The Cybersecurity score is simply the raw score outputted by the bot.
  • The Game Theory score is equal to 100 - abs(avg * 0.8 - score) where avg is the average Cybersecurity score and score is the bot's Cybersecurity score.

Using the geometric mean rather than the arithmetic mean is to penalise any strategies that neglect one score to maximise the other.

The score for each round is added to a total score. The bot with the highest total score at the end of the game wins!


The challenge is in JS.

Your bot must be an object that has a run method that takes an array of numbers as input and returns a number between 1 and 100 inclusive.

Other rules

  • Storing data in your bot's properties is allowed, and encouraged!
  • Using Math.random is allowed.
  • Using the helper functions sum and average is allowed.
  • Trying to access any other variables outside your bot's own properties is forbidden.
  • Standard loopholes apply.

Controller code can be found here.

Example bots

  // Example bot
  // It assumes all other bots are greedy and choose 100
  // So it chooses 80
  name: "Simpleton", // Just for fun
  run() {
    return 80
  // Example bot
  // He assumes everyone will choose the same scores as last round
  // So he chooses 80% of the average last round
  name: "LastRounder",
  own: 0, // Setting properties is allowed
  run(scores) {
    // The average of everyone else's score x 0.8
    this.own = (sum(scores) - this.own) / (scores.length - 1) * 0.8
    return this.own

Clarification: Both example bots play in the game as well.

Submissions are due by 11:59pm UTC on Saturday 1 May, but I might be lenient depending on when I'm next online.

If I have made a mistake in my code, feel free to point it out. Thanks

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ RIP the Bobby Tables answer \$\endgroup\$ Apr 29 at 18:03
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Trying to access any other variables outside your bot's own properties is forbidden. That's no fun! Javascript has so many neat reflection capabilities that could be abused to render the JS engine unusable for all other bots though \$\endgroup\$ Apr 30 at 19:09
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Anyone with more js skills than me (:'() please post a solution at 11:58 with just an array calculated by taking into account all prior submissions and calculating the optimum ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – DonQuiKong
    Apr 30 at 19:34
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @SilvioMayolo That's not really in the spirit of KotHs, though. If that was allowed, you could trivially win by sabatoging other bots and it would become a very short metagame with no strategy. \$\endgroup\$ May 1 at 3:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @CLu I think it's clear enough. I mentioned geometric mean several times in the description, and what you're referring to is simply the game theory score. \$\endgroup\$ May 2 at 0:13

63 Answers 63

1 2


This bot was inspired by Self Aware Maximizer, but also takes into account how its own score affects the scores of other players.

Golden uses a golden section search to find which cybersecurity score would have maximized the previous round's score for itself minus the previous round's next best score. It then chooses the average of the optimal cybersecurity scores it has found.

The first cybersecurity score returned was determined by determining the best cybersecurity score for the first round 1000 times in a row, then taking the average.

    name: 'Golden',
    previousChoice: 0,
    first: true,
    goldenRatio: (Math.sqrt(5) + 1) / 2,
    weightedBest: 75.28679012885513,
    round: 0,
    goldenSectionSearch(f, min, max, tolerance = 1e-5) {
        while (max - min > tolerance) {
            let leftInterior = max - (max - min) / this.goldenRatio
            let rightInterior = min + (max - min) / this.goldenRatio

            if (f(leftInterior) < f(rightInterior)) {
                max = rightInterior
            } else {
                min = leftInterior
        return (min + max) / 2
    run(choices) {
        if (this.first) {
            this.previousChoice = this.weightedBest
            this.first = false
            return this.weightedBest
        const n = choices.length
        const i = choices.indexOf(this.previousChoice)
        const otherChoices = [...choices.slice(0, i), ...choices.slice(i + 1)]
        const sum = otherChoices.reduce((a, b) => a + b)

        function score(candidate) {
            const average = (sum + candidate) / n
            const gameTheory = 100 - Math.abs(average * 0.8 - candidate)
            const score = Math.sqrt(candidate * gameTheory)
            const otherScores = otherChoices.map(c => {
                const gameTheory = 100 - Math.abs(average * 0.8 - c)
                return Math.sqrt(c * gameTheory)
            const best = Math.max(...otherScores)
            return best - score

        const best = this.goldenSectionSearch(score, 1, 100)
        this.weightedBest = (this.weightedBest * this.round + best) / (this.round + 1)
        this.previousChoice = this.weightedBest
        return this.weightedBest

The Skinny

Basically the same as fat, just trying to use less lines of code, by using an approximate constant for average velocity and not using numerical solver.

Fat                             78684.97459611233
Skinny                          78684.90970216368 
Overshoot (slightly)            78684.59923852411 
Histogrammer                    78684.24574125063 
ExponentialMovingAverage        78680.78518171726 
Optimise Mean                   78679.65559244195 
Near-stable                     78679.65559244195 
Calculus                        78679.47519324803 
Squidward                       78679.11475381341 
FollowTheLeader                 78677.6890436919 
Smartleton                      78673.66796955772 
Simpleton                       78673.62925366624 

    name: "The Skinny",
      let a = sum(s)/s.length;
      let va =Math.sqrt(sum(s.map(function(x){return Math.abs(x - a)})));
      let p = 0.3*(((va - this.l_v)>0?1:-1)*4.8 - (a - this.l_a));
      this.l_a = a;this.l_v = va;this.n++;
      return this.n <2 ? 77 : 50+(a+p)*2/5;


Turns out 78 is much better than 77

    name: "78",
      return 78;
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ A bit late eh.. \$\endgroup\$ May 2 at 7:43
1 2

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