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.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »