Computers, even small ones like the phone in your pocket, are good at performing thousands of operations in just a few seconds. Even more impressively, they can also make decisions based on the data in their memory banks and logic specified by the programmer. This decision-making capability is probably the key ingredient of what people think of as artificial intelligence—and it’s definitely a very important part of creating smart, interesting apps! In this chapter, we’ll explore how to build decision-making logic into your apps.
As we discussed in Chapter 14, an app’s behavior is defined by a set of event handlers. Each event handler executes specific functions in response to a particular event. The response need not be a linear sequence of functions, however; you can specify that some functions be performed only under certain conditions. A game app might check if the score has reached 100. A location-aware app might ask if the phone is within the boundaries of some building. Your app can ask such questions and, depending on the answer, proceed down a certain program branch (or direction).
Figure 18-1 depicts a flowchart of an event handler with a conditional check.