It is often preferable to settle for a satisfactory solution, rather than pursue an optimal solution.1

The best design decision is not always the optimal design decision. In certain circumstances, the success of a design is better served by design decisions that roughly satisfy (i.e., satisfice), rather than optimally satisfy, design requirements. For example, in seeking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, a satisficer would stop looking as soon as a needle is found; an optimizer would continue to look for all possible needles so that the sharpest needle could be determined. There are three kinds of problems for which satisficing should be considered: very complex problems, time-limited problems, and problems for which anything ...

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