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fudge factor

any variable component added to an experiment, plan, or the like that can be manipulated to allow leeway for error. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Slang definitions & phrases for fudge factor

fudge factor

noun phrase

An arbitrary percentage added to a proposed contract or estimate to allow for adverse contingencies: How many will die? Current projections are pure darts at a board, an enormous extrapolation coupled with a fudge factor (1962+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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fudge factor in Technology

A value or parameter that is varied in an ad hoc way to produce the desired result. The terms "tolerance" and slop are also used, though these usually indicate a one-sided leeway, such as a buffer that is made larger than necessary because one isn't sure exactly how large it needs to be, and it is better to waste a little space than to lose completely for not having enough. A fudge factor, on the other hand, can often be tweaked in more than one direction. A good example is the "fuzz" typically allowed in floating-point calculations: two numbers being compared for equality must be allowed to differ by a small amount; if that amount is too small, a computation may never terminate, while if it is too large, results will be needlessly inaccurate. Fudge factors are frequently adjusted incorrectly by programmers who don't fully understand their import.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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