Browse Definitions:
Definition

engine

In computer programming, an engine is a program that performs a core or essential function for other programs. Engines are used in operating systems, subsystems or application programs to coordinate the overall operation of other programs.

The term engine is also used to describe a special-purpose program that uses deep learning algorithms to query data. The best known usage is perhaps a search engine, which uses an algorithm to query an index of topics given a search argument. A search engine is designed so that its approach to searching the index can be changed to reflect new rules for finding and prioritizing matches in the index. In artificial intelligence, the program that uses rules of logic to derive output from a knowledge base is called an inference engine.

Other types of engines include:

Recommendation engines - analyzes available data to make suggestions for shoppers and website visitors

Correlation engines -  aggregates, normalizes and analyzes event log data, using predictive analytics and fuzzy logic to alert the systems administrator when there is a problem. 

Business rules engine - separates execution code for business rules from the rest of the business process management system so end users can change business rules without having to ask a programmer for help.

Policy engine - enforces rules about how network resources and the organization's data can be accessed.

The choice of the word engine to describe this type of programming is meant to correlate with mechanical engines. In the 1800s, Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, which is generally acknowledged as the first supercomputer, was 11ft long, 7ft wide and made up of 8,000 parts. When the engine was cranked with a handle, it automatically calculated and tabulated mathematical equations.

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About engine

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • security information and event management (SIEM)

    Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that seeks to provide a holistic view of ...

  • polymorphic virus

    A polymorphic virus is a harmful, destructive or intrusive type of malware that can change or 'morph,' making it difficult to ...

  • cyberterrorism

    According to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, cyberterrorism is any 'premeditated, politically motivated attack against ...

SearchHealthIT

  • accountable care organization (ACO)

    An accountable care organization (ACO) is an association of hospitals, healthcare providers and insurers in which all parties ...

  • patient engagement

    Patient engagement is an ideal healthcare situation in which people are well-informed about -- and motivated to be involved -- in...

  • personal health record (PHR)

    A personal health record (PHR) is a collection of health-related information that is documented and maintained by the individual ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close