Fudge Factor: N. A Value Or Parameter That Is Varied In An Ad Hoc Way To Produce The Desired Result.

HomeFortune CookiesMiscellaneous Collections

:fudge factor: n. A value or parameter that is varied in an ad hoc way
to produce the desired result. The terms `tolerance' and
{slop} are also used, though these usually indicate a one-sided
leeway, such as a buffer that is made larger than necessary
because one isn't sure exactly how large it needs to be, and it is
better to waste a little space than to lose completely for not
having enough. A fudge factor, on the other hand, can often be
tweaked in more than one direction. A good example is the `fuzz'
typically allowed in floating-point calculations: two numbers being
compared for equality must be allowed to differ by a small amount;
if that amount is too small, a computation may never terminate,
while if it is too large, results will be needlessly inaccurate.
Fudge factors are frequently adjusted incorrectly by programmers
who don't fully understand their import. See also {coefficient
of X}.
-- The AI Hackers Dictionary