Soft Computing Techniques
When trade-offs in an implementation have been identified, many design issues become optimization problems. A very large class of combinatorial optimization problems can be shown to be NP-hard. So that large instances of the problems cannot be solved given current technologies. There is a good chance that it may never be tractable to find the optimal solutions to any of these problems within a reasonable period of time. In spite of this, some techniques have been shown capable of tractably finding near optimal or reasonable answers to these problems. These techniques are usually referred to as heuristics. The general classes of techniques given here are thus known as meta-heuristics. Meta-heuristics, fuzzy sets and artificial neural networks also make up the set of what has come to be known as soft computing technologies. These are advanced computational techniques for problem solving.