I'm writing a thesis in a technical field. One of my tasks was to implement some algorithms. I started with some simple ones, just for testing purposes, but as they were too simple and didn't work as intended, I implemented new more advanced algorithms.

Now, I would like to describe both ways.

Is it appropriate to call the section about the simple algorithms the naïve approach? Should it be naive instead?

Also, could I use actual productive approach for the "actual working" algorithms?

  • Curious why you're making a big deal about the dots over the "i". Though it is "correct", I'm not aware of a meaning difference between the two. – Catija May 4 '16 at 17:15
  • No, I'm concerned about both, the using of the word and the 2 dots in the English language. I'm not sure, if I should this word in my thesis and if so, should it be naïve or just naive? – user336206 May 4 '16 at 17:16
  • You should note that specifically in your question to make it more clear. – Catija May 4 '16 at 17:18
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    These days, the version without the dieresis is as common, and I think just as acceptable. There have never been many English words with diereses, and I think they probably started losing them rapidly around the time of the rise of the typewriter and then the computer, because they're hard to type if the machine isn't set up for them. You should refer to the style guide that your technical field or publication uses, and go with whatever it recommends. – stangdon May 4 '16 at 17:27
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    FWIW - "Naive," with or without the dots, is a fine way to describe an initial approach that made simplifying assumptions that turned out to be too simple. If you google "Naive approach" [your field] you will probably find that others have use the same term. – Adam May 4 '16 at 20:56

For your usage

naive approach

can be used to describe a simple approach. An approach someone not familiar with the field of your study might take to analyse a problem. Sometimes approaching things this way might also be called a

brute force approach

depending on context.

In contrast a

standard approach
more advanced approach

might be used to describe a more refined or elegant process for finding a solution which might be more insightful than the naive / simple / brute force approach.

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