July 27th, 2010

southpark

Yay for shoulders of giants

And yay for easily searchable academic works. I had what I thought was a great idea for solving a problem at work, and was coming very close to coding it up, spinning up a simulator, and giving it a whirl. But I had this nagging doubt that this solution was at least a little obvious, and some keyword searches led me to some papers on kinda-sorta what I had in mind, and their references eventually let me to a 1990s-era masters thesis from some MIT grad talking about exactly my idea, and why he (we) thought it would work, and all of his results showing how it totally failed to do so except in this one specific case (which is important, but does not outweigh the downsides). Most importantly, he goes on to analyze exactly why and how it fails, which means I get those answers without the days and days of frustration. So yay for learning from others' experiences!
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