Testing heuristics: We have it all wrong. (English) Zbl 0853.68155

Summary: The competitive nature of most algorithmic experimentation is a source of problems that are all too familiar to the research community. It is hard tomake fair comparisons between algorithms and to assemble realistic test problems. Competitive testing tells us which algorithm is faster but not why. Because it requires published code, it consumes time and energy that could be better spent doing more experiments. This article argues that a more scientific approach of controlled experimentation, similar to that used in other empirical sciences, avoids or alleviates these problems. We have confused research and development; competitive testing is suited only for the latter.


68T20 Problem solving in the context of artificial intelligence (heuristics, search strategies, etc.)
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