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Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming by Peter Norvig

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Chapter 9

Efficiency Issues

A Lisp programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing.

—Alan J. Perlis

Lisp is not inherently less efficient than other high-level languages.

—Richard J. Fateman

One of the reasons Lisp has enjoyed a long history is because it is an ideal language for what is now called rapid-prototyping–developing a program quickly, with little regards for details. That is what we have done so far in this book: concentrated on getting a working algorithm. Unfortunately, when a prototype is to be turned into a production-quality program, details can no longer be ignored. Most “real” AI programs deal with large amounts of data, and with large search spaces. Thus, efficiency considerations become very important.

However, ...

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