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The tag wiki for currently reads like the following:

Challenges tagged optimization should tend to focus on three areas:

  • There is exactly one observable parameter ("score") which measures the performance of attempting a puzzle in a particular approach. As examples, this could be a mixed function between code size, objectives reached (e.g. count from 1 to N where score depends on increasing N), constraints met (e.g. penalty on repeating characters), or any arbitrary but well defined set such as playing a game and measuring your score, etc.
  • The performance (measured score) involves the loosely computer sciencey definition of "optimization", that is a "better" approach works more efficiently or use fewer resources. (Resources is generally interpreted as code size on this site, but there may be alternatives.)
  • The problem does not have an obvious solution, i.e. solutions may compete on out-performing each other rather than solving the problem with the optimal methods. More specifically, in most optimization problems there exists a playing field that arises from having the output be a continuous function (i.e. for two similar approaches, they may be measured to be distinct from each other based on details) or the optimal algorithm is very hard to find / compute. (e.g. unit allocation)

It describes the tag as a winning criterion tag, where the objective is to optimize some custom score of the submissions. But framing it as such has multiple problems:

  • already covers the definition, and that is the recommended winning criterion tag for that kind of challenges.
  • No one these days uses tag for that purpose. Instead, it is used more often where the core task itself is an optimization problem.
    • Optimization problem (Wikipedia) is an important class of problems in computer science closely related to . Notably, many NP-complete decision problems have a twin optimization problem (e.g. TSP as an optimization problem reads as "minimize the cost of a Hamiltonian cycle", while its decision problem version reads as "does such a cycle under the given cost X exist?".) This definition suits better to the current usage of the tag.
    • Under this definition, is NOT a synonym of . IMHO, it should be synomymized to instead (assuming SE supports this).

Therefore, I propose the following:

OR,

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, I always agree with efforts to clean up misused and poorly described tags. However, one thing of concern is that there are currently 127 challenges tagged with [optimization], meaning that we could flood the front page with any edits if we aren't careful \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Apr 14 at 0:11
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Option 2

(posting the two proposed options for voting purposes)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 I feel like [optimization] is a bit of a vague tag on a site where literally every question is about optimising your score. Having a slightly better named version of the tag for questions that are actually about optimisation seems like a better approach that is less likely to result in weird and inappropriate mistags later on \$\endgroup\$ – caird coinheringaahing Apr 26 at 11:41
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Option 1

(posting the two proposed options for voting purposes)

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