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backtracking (countable and uncountable, plural backtrackings)

  1. (countable, uncountable) The act of one who, or that which, backtracks; a retracing of one's steps.
  2. (aviation) The usage of a runway as a taxiway, especially at private strips and smaller airports.
  3. (computer science) The act of building all possible solutions to a problem incrementally, abandoning any candidate solution if it cannot lead to a valid solution.
    backtracking algorithm
    • 2004, Richard E. Neapolitan; Kumarss Naimipour, Foundations of Algorithms Using C++ Pseudocode, 3rd edition, Jones & Bartlett Learning, →ISBN, page 188:
      Backtracking is used to solve problems in which a sequence of objects is chosen from a specific set so that the sequence satisfies some criterion. The classic example of the use of backtracking is the n-Queens problem.
    • 2017, Moritz Lenz, Parsing with Perl 6 Regexes and Grammars, Apress, →ISBN, page 112:
      This grammar only uses tokens and rules, so there is no backtracking involved, and the grammar is a predictive parser. This is fairly typical. Many grammars work fine without backtracking, or with backtracking in just a few places.



  1. present participle of backtrack