Whatever you are creating, the simple fact of pushing a project from initial ideas to something coherent and complete is an enriching experience. You discover so many things that characterize the process of creation. You encounter choices. You encounter difficulties and set-backs which require the search for alternative solutions. You will need to understand whether something incomplete can be brought into a complete form and how much effort this needs. You will learn what it takes to obtain simple and good results. And you will learn about the limits of what you can achieve. You will gain knowledge of what is not possible and about the pitfalls from which it is difficult to break out. With more experience, you will understand that complex solutions not only need high effort to be realized, but are also more fragile and do not provide all the guarantees that you may consider for granted. Complex solutions usually lack simple properties. You will gain simplicity when you start right from these simple properties, when you begin to understand them, and when you figure out whether there aren’t any simple means to achieve them directly.

This is my secret. It helped me to find simple solutions for problems that appeared to be complex. And its most amazing benefit is that it helped me to find a simple method for making explanations simpler. As simple as possible as long as things are kept within the given setting.

My simplest scientific discovery was that of the QuickXplain method which computes explanations for over-constrained problems that are as simple as possible. Its benefits have inspired many other researchers and have led to applications that were completely unexpected.


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