Ad hoc  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". In English, it generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes (compare with a priori).

Common examples are ad hoc organizations, committees, and commissions created at the national or international level for a specific task. In other fields, the term could refer, for example, to a military unit created under special circumstances, a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol (e.g. ad hoc network), a temporary banding together of geographically-linked franchise locations (of a given national brand) in order to issue advertising coupons, or a purpose-specific equation.

Ad hoc can also mean makeshift solutions, shifting contexts to create new meanings, inadequate planning, or improvised events.

Contents

Styling

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, familiar Latin phrases that are listed in Merriam-Webster, such as "ad hoc", should not be italicized.

Hypothesis

In science and philosophy, ad hoc means the addition of extraneous hypotheses to a theory to save it from being falsified. Ad hoc hypotheses compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form.

Scientists are often skeptical of scientific theories that rely on frequent, unsupported adjustments to sustain them. Ad hoc hypotheses are often characteristic of pseudo-scientific subjects such as homeopathy.

In the military

In the military, ad hoc units are created during unpredictable situations, when the cooperation between different units is suddenly needed for fast action.

Networking

The term ad hoc networking typically refers to a system of network elements that combine to form a network requiring little or no planning.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ad hoc" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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