Search programs find a solution for a problem by trying different sequences of actions ( operators) until a solution is found.

Many kinds of problems can be viewed as search problems. To solve a problem using search, it is only necessary to code the operators that can be used; search will find the sequence of actions that will provide the desired result. For example, a program can be written to play chess using search if one knows the rules of chess; it isn't necessary to know how to play good chess.

Most problems have search spaces so large that it is impossible to search the whole space. Chess has been estimated to have 10120 possible games. The rapid growth of combinations of possible moves is called the combinatoric explosion problem.

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