On premature optimization

Premature optimization is the root of all evil.

– Donald Knuth

Whereas it was first stated in the context of computer programming, the dangers of premature optimization span way beyond programming. Basically, premature optimization is the process of optimizing things that will not need optimization in the future, creating more trouble and difficulties.

In the field of science, I relate this to simplifying a theoretical model too early, or similar things. While optimization can help in many situations, it should only be done when there is enough stuff to be optimized.

Seen somewhere on the Internet.

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  • Last modified: 16 months ago
  • by Olivier Simard-Casanova