I'm writing a computer science paper where the concept is "many small pieces would work better that a single big one". Basically the collaboration of multiple small entities would be better that a unified big entity. I'm trying to come up with an interesting phrase or metaphor to append to my general title after a colon. For instance, phrases like Divide and Conquer, or let's split them all, or many smalls is better that a single big, or two kids think better than an adult! or anything like that, which can be entitled something like Towards Efficient Computing: Divide and Conquer.

Is there any suggestions for that? Any thoughts would certainly help.

  • 1
    What is it about divide and conquer that you don't like? (I would probably rephrase it dividing and conquering in context, but that's something else.) A paraphrase of that is success through division. – Jason Bassford Aug 20 '20 at 20:43
  • 2
    How about, 'When Big Isn't Better: Towards Efficient Computing'? – Kiloran_speaking Aug 20 '20 at 20:51
  • @JasonBassford That's good, but here we don't really "divide" that big thing into smaller pieces. They can be independent. – Tina J Aug 20 '20 at 22:14
  • @Kiloran_speaking that sounds nice! If we could somehow mean "better than smaller", it would be even better. – Tina J Aug 20 '20 at 22:16
  • Be sure to read Software Tools before making any final decisions. – John Lawler Aug 20 '20 at 22:45

How about Toward Efficient Computing: Big Isn't Always Better? It's provocative and enticing and seems to capture what you're seeking.

A couple of other possibilities:

Toward Efficient Computing: One Big Piece or Many Small Ones?

Toward Efficient Computing: One Big Piece v. Many Small Ones

Also enticing and may capture better what you're seeking.

  • That's nice, but somehow missing the "many smaller ones" part. – Tina J Aug 20 '20 at 22:19
  • For your first suggestion, “bigger isn’t always better” sounds a lot better/more idiomatic to me. – Daniel Aug 20 '20 at 22:40
  • @Daniel I agree. Just trying to respond to the OP's comment. – Richard Kayser Aug 20 '20 at 23:01
  • 1
    @TinaJ My first suggestion doesn't say all that it could, but it doesn't need to. I think it says enough to entice your audience to read further. You could go into more detail in the abstract of your pub. – Richard Kayser Aug 20 '20 at 23:04

Towards Efficient Computing: Big is not the Answer, (Think Small, Think Many)

                                                      : Think Small, Think Many

                                                      : Repetition in the Small, no Centralization in the Big

                                                      : Decentralize

                                                      : When it doesn't Pay to Think Big

                                                      : Big doesn't Pay

  • Good ones. First one is good and has all notions, but a bit lengthy. – Tina J Aug 20 '20 at 22:18
  • @TinaJ they are rather common place but still expressive; I tried to come up with something truly original but was at a loss for anything of that sort.. – LPH Aug 20 '20 at 22:23
  • Thanks. Btw, in my specific usecase, many is actually 2. – Tina J Aug 20 '20 at 22:31

Towards Efficient Computing: Brainstorming Collaborative Synergies

Based on a series of comments made, you want to talk about individuals (or processes) working independently, but also together in order to come up with a common goal.

You don't actually want to emphasize that the individual parts are small, but that they are meaningful parts that are smaller than the whole. In other words, the parts get together in some way to form something bigger. (Even if it's just the combined output.)

The three words in this subtitle form the basis of that idea, which is more conceptual than literal.

The following definitions are from Merriam-Webster.

  • Brainstorm: "to try to solve a problem or come up with new ideas by having a discussion that includes all members of a group : to discuss a problem or issue and suggest solutions and ideas"
  • Collaborative (from collaborate): "1 : to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor"
  • Synergy: "2 : a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (such as resources or efforts)

It's gotta super appealing, it's the initial persuasion to even touch the paper. I personally would pick up one like, "Like Legos" "Building Better Building Blocks" "Small and Uninsignificant" "TinyTech for a Big Future" "What is the Smallest Thought?" "Divided But Connected". I'm honestly getting tons of other ideas and have to stop now. Good Luck though, it sounds like an awesome publication!


Towards Efficient Computing: Showing how many individual elements contribute more than a single large entity. The answers are good. The comments are great. You wish to use components of your thesis so the answer starts here.

As for pithy versions:

Towards Efficient Computing: The chorus outperforms the soloist.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.