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1 To mark a piece of text or graphical information in some way, read it into a temporary storage location, and delete it from the original document. The information may then be inserted into a new location. This has the effect of moving the information from one location to another and is often called a move, or cut and paste by analogy with scissors and glue techniques. See clipboard. Compare copy.

2 A mechanism used in Prolog to limit backtracking. Roughly speaking, the effect of a cut is to fix certain decisions that have already been made, thus preventing the system from undoing those decisions in order to perform a further search for solutions to its goals. This is a way of avoiding costly search known in advance to be fruitless, or of excluding alternative solutions that are not wanted. However, writing cuts in a program makes its behavior dependent on the system's search sequence. Such dependency prevents the program from being a pure statement of logical relationships and thus goes against the spirit of logic programming.

Subjects: Computing.

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