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Brute force
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Brute force

''this page should probably be combined with Brute-force search

In computer science, Brute Force, sometimes called the Naive Method, is a term used to refer to the simplest, most intuitive, most spontaneous, and usually most inefficient methods of accomplishing a task.

Before Software engineering, computer programmers used brute force to design a program: understand an objective to be done and just do it. Programmers would just keep picking at a task until it was done. Brute force was fine for the simplest programs in the early era of computing, when programs were not complex and not safety-sensitive/safety-critical.

In the modern era, Software Engineering is used to manage software systems which contain millions of lines of code which poses a problem in terms of efficiency of brute force.

In a similar topic, algorithms which systematically looks at every possible solution of a problem until a solution is found is a brute force search. There thus becomes a tradeoff -- brute force algorithms are extremely simple to design, however they are terribly inefficient. For example, using algorithms of this nature are usually inefficient when looking at massive amounts of input, such as DNA strands.

Commercial software development not infrequently dictates a "brute force" approach to certain computer programming problems, summarized in the adage, "CPU time is cheaper than engineer time." Optimizing a given algorithm is labor intensive, and may save only a few seconds or minutes of execution time on a modern computer system with a fast CPU and plenty of available RAM. Programmers and their managers must decide on a case by case basis whether the expense involved in coding a more elegant solution to a given problem is worth the saved CPU cycles.


Brute Force was also a computer chess program, designed in the 1970s.