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demon

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demon


  5  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Demon  \De"mon\,  n.  [F.  d['e]mon,  L.  daemon  a  spirit,  an  evil 
  spirit,  fr  Gr  ?  a  divinity;  of  uncertain  origin.] 
  1.  (Gr.  Antiq.)  A  spirit,  or  immaterial  being  holding  a 
  middle  place  between  men  and  deities  in  pagan  mythology. 
 
  The  demon  kind  is  of  an  intermediate  nature  between 
  the  divine  and  the  human.  --Sydenham. 
 
  2.  One's  genius;  a  tutelary  spirit  or  internal  voice;  as  the 
  demon  of  Socrates.  [Often  written  {d[ae]mon}.] 
 
  3.  An  evil  spirit;  a  devil. 
 
  That  same  demon  that  hath  gulled  thee  thus  --Shak. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  demon 
  n  1:  one  of  the  evil  spirits  of  traditional  Jewish  and  Christian 
  belief  [syn:  {devil},  {fiend},  {daemon},  {daimon}] 
  2:  a  cruel  wicked  and  inhuman  person  [syn:  {monster},  {fiend}, 
  {devil},  {ogre}] 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  demon  n.  1.  [MIT]  A  portion  of  a  program  that  is  not  invoked 
  explicitly,  but  that  lies  dormant  waiting  for  some  condition(s)  to  occur. 
  See  {daemon}.  The  distinction  is  that  demons  are  usually  processes 
  within  a  program,  while  daemons  are  usually  programs  running  on  an 
  operating  system.  2.  [outside  MIT]  Often  used  equivalently  to  {daemon} 
  --  especially  in  the  {{Unix}}  world,  where  the  latter  spelling  and 
  pronunciation  is  considered  mildly  archaic. 
 
  Demons  in  sense  1  are  particularly  common  in  AI  programs.  For 
  example,  a  knowledge-manipulation  program  might  implement  inference  rules 
  as  demons.  Whenever  a  new  piece  of  knowledge  was  added,  various  demons 
  would  activate  (which  demons  depends  on  the  particular  piece  of  data)  and 
  would  create  additional  pieces  of  knowledge  by  applying  their  respective 
  inference  rules  to  the  original  piece.  These  new  pieces  could  in  turn 
  activate  more  demons  as  the  inferences  filtered  down  through  chains 
  of  logic.  Meanwhile,  the  main  program  could  continue  with  whatever  its 
  primary  task  was 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  demon 
 
  1.    (Often  used  equivalently  to  {daemon}, 
  especially  in  the  {Unix}  world,  where  the  latter  spelling  and 
  pronunciation  is  considered  mildly  archaic).  A  program  or 
  part  of  a  program  which  is  not  invoked  explicitly,  but  that 
  lies  dormant  waiting  for  some  condition(s)  to  occur. 
 
  At  {MIT}  they  use  demon"  for  part  of  a  program  and  daemon" 
  for  an  {operating  system}  process. 
 
  Demons  (parts  of  programs)  are  particularly  common  in  {AI} 
  programs.  For  example,  a  {knowledge}-manipulation  program 
  might  implement  {inference  rules}  as  demons.  Whenever  a  new 
  piece  of  knowledge  was  added,  various  demons  would  activate 
  (which  demons  depends  on  the  particular  piece  of  data)  and 
  would  create  additional  pieces  of  knowledge  by  applying  their 
  respective  inference  rules  to  the  original  piece.  These  new 
  pieces  could  in  turn  activate  more  demons  as  the  inferences 
  filtered  down  through  chains  of  logic.  Meanwhile,  the  main 
  program  could  continue  with  whatever  its  primary  task  was 
  This  is  similar  to  the  {triggers}  used  in  {relational 
  databases}. 
 
  The  use  of  this  term  may  derive  from  "Maxwell's  Demons"  - 
  minute  beings  which  can  reverse  the  normal  flow  of  heat  from  a 
  hot  body  to  a  cold  body  by  only  allowing  fast  moving  molecules 
  to  go  from  the  cold  body  to  the  hot  one  and  slow  molecules 
  from  hot  to  cold.  The  solution  to  this  apparent  thermodynamic 
  paradox  is  that  the  demons  would  require  an  external  supply  of 
  energy  to  do  their  work  and  it  is  only  in  the  absence  of  such 
  a  supply  that  heat  must  necessarily  flow  from  hot  to  cold. 
 
  Walt  Bunch  believes  the  term  comes  from  the  demons  in  Oliver 
  Selfridge's  paper  "Pandemonium",  MIT  1958,  which  was  named 
  after  the  capital  of  Hell  in  Milton's  "Paradise  Lost". 
  Selfridge  likened  neural  cells  firing  in  response  to  input 
  patterns  to  the  chaos  of  millions  of  demons  shrieking  in 
  Pandemonium. 
 
  2.    {Demon  Internet}  Ltd. 
 
  3.  A  {program  generator}  for  {differential  equation}  problems. 
 
  [N.W.  Bennett,  Australian  AEC  Research  Establishment, 
  AAEC/E142,  Aug  1965]. 
 
  [{Jargon  File}] 
 
  (1998-09-04) 
 
 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Demon 
  See  {DAEMON}. 
 




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