Archive for August, 2007

Appear smarter by moving in the right circles (or vector fields)

Simon’s ant

You don’t have to be smart in order to appear smart. An illustration of the previous is the now famous ant-on-the-beach parable as presented by well-known AI pioneer Herbert Simon in his book The Sciences of the Artificial. As an illustration of how complex behavior can arise from simple rules applied to nonsimple data, Simon asks us to consider the path taken by an ant on a sandy beach. Simon writes: Read the rest of this entry »

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And an old-school division trick

This is just a short note to give a division trick to go with the multiplication tricks of my previous blog post. Two divisions, r = a / b and s = c / d, can be turned into one division and five multiplies by computing the terms as Read the rest of this entry »

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Old-school multiplication tricks

In a land far far away (meaning some 10-20 years ago) it used to be very important to do all kinds of extreme optimizations to get games and other performance-sensitive code to run at a decent speed. Often, one important optimization was to remove expensive arithmetic operations like multiplications and — heaven forfend — divisions. Anyone who was around then tends to have amassed a lot of “tricks” for this, which these days are really just meaningless trivia occupying valuable brain real-estate. I’m hoping that writing “my” tricks down might help me purge them from memory. Hey, it’s worth a try! Read the rest of this entry »

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