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, this does not mean that writing an e
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