Why not just have a tag for searching? Searching is a problem, no need to add the word to the tag; and there's already a tag for algorithms. Come on, let's get rid of these.


As pointed out by Kaveh, search-problem has a more narrow technical meaning. While I am still personally unconvinced that this warrants having a tag for it, it can reasonably be taken as an argument in favor of having it. As such, you may feel free to focus on the search-algorithms tag, despite the apparent fact that search-algorithm can refer to exactly those problems which qualify as search-problems according to Kaveh's inferred usage.

  • $\begingroup$ I have never liked search-algorithms (nor searching). They are too vague to say anything; you can express any function in terms of searching (for the solution). Apparently, AI people use the phrase, though. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Apr 24, 2012 at 16:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Raphael I would call searching (or, if pressed, search-algorithms) the subject of chapter 6 of TAOCP. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2012 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ "Burninate" ? what does that mean ? $\endgroup$
    – Suresh
    Apr 24, 2012 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Gilles: Oh, well. That is authority right there. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Apr 25, 2012 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Suresh The true meaning of burninate $\endgroup$ Apr 29, 2012 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


I favor using the simpler tag . Tags should convey information in a very short space, having a spurious word is bad. Questions about search algorithms are the dominant kind of search-related questions, so doesn't convey useful information beyond .

Since has a specific, useful meaning, I'm for keeping it.

  • $\begingroup$ In the light of developments since, using searching plus algorithms seems advisable. But we still have (and use) search-algorithms. Should we act in some way? (Trigger) $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Sep 9, 2015 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ There's search now, too. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Feb 22, 2016 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael Any reason not to merge with searching? $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2016 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ None that I can see. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Feb 22, 2016 at 16:23

Search problem is not what you think, it is a class of computational problems like decision-problems.

  • $\begingroup$ How is that not what I think? We have an "optimization" tag but not an "optimization-problem" tag; and besides, the definition you link to is just a generalized version of what people typically understand by searching, i.e., finding something in some data structure. I don't see the difference you're arguing for. $\endgroup$
    – Patrick87
    Apr 24, 2012 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Patrick87, this is a standard keyword in theoretical computer science, so having it as a tag is reasonable. Note that there is no algorithm involved here. About search-algorithms, I think what people normally mean is an algorithm for searching in a data-structure, not the class of computational problems I mentioned (although the wikipedia article for search-algorithms uses the generalization without any reference). I am fine with renaming/merging search-algorithms into searching or search. That plus algorithms tag should be enough. But I am in favor of keeping search-problem tag as it is. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Apr 24, 2012 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit my post to focus on search-algorithms and admit that search-problem might be OK; we'll see how the community feels about them. Frankly, I'm unconvinced about the value of having a searching-problem tag, but you're free to disagree. $\endgroup$
    – Patrick87
    Apr 24, 2012 at 15:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please write a tag wiki for search-problem, if we end up keeping it. Having tag wikis that explain the tag to non-experts help demonstrate a tag's usefulness. $\endgroup$ Apr 24, 2012 at 23:11

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