Definition of minimax in English:


Line breaks: mini|max
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnɪmaks


  • 1The lowest of a set of maximum values. Compare with maximin.
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    • The methods include the study of stable and unstable manifolds, bifurcations, index and degree, and construction of orbits as minima and minimaxes of action functionals.
  • 1.1 [as modifier] (In game theory) denoting a strategy that minimizes the greatest risk to a participant.
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    • This paper introduced the idea of minimax reasoning for lower bounding randomized algorithms, and appeared only in FOCS 83.
    • Michie recalls Turing experimenting with heuristics that later became common in chess programming (in particular minimax and best-first).
    • There are real problems of deciding whether a given ‘game’ has a global minimax or multiple local minimaxes or a minimax at all!
  • 1.2 [as modifier] Denoting the theory that in a game with two players, a player’s smallest possible maximum loss is equal to the same player’s greatest possible minimum gain.
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    • One possible solution is the minimax search algorithm.
    • In game theory von Neumann proved the minimax theorem.


1940s: blend of minimum and maximum.

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