brute forceRefers to a programming style that does not include any shortcuts to improve performance, but instead relies on sheer computing power to try all possibilities until the solution to a problem is found. A classic example is the traveling salesman problem (TSP). Suppose a salesman needs to visit 10 cities across the country. How does one determine the order in which cities should be visited such that the total distance traveled is minimized? The brute force solution is simply to calculate the total distance for every possible route and then select the shortest one. This is not particularly efficient because it is possible to eliminate many possible routes through clever algorithms.
Although brute force programming is not particularly elegant, it does have a legitimate place in software engineering. Since brute force methods always return the correct result -- albeit slowly -- they are useful for testing the accuracy of faster algorithms. In addition, sometimes a particular problem can be solved so quickly with a brute force method that it doesn't make sense to waste time devising a more elegant solution.
Perceptual computing is the ability for a computer to recognize what is going on around it. More specifically, the computer can perceive the... Read More »Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security
Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?
Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Webopedia Polls
The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »