Imagine I provide some random input to function like FindInstance[], and I observe that, despite the existence of good solutions, the function will, with some probability, indefinitely evaluate without success. For an example, please see my earlier question: Why is FindInstance failing when I relax a set of constraints?

Can I somehow force the function to return, say, an empty list {} after some time $T$ has passed?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Did you check TimeConstraint? $\endgroup$
    – Spawn1701D
    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Spawn1701D That seems not to work for FindInstance? $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Spawn1701D I'm looking for something I can also wrap around some section of code to force it to restart or quit after some time has passed. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:14
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ There is also the wrapper/Function variant TimeConstrained. $\endgroup$
    – Spawn1701D
    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Spawn1701D Yup, that seems to work! $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Apr 22, 2013 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


TimeConstrained[expr, t, failexpr] returns failexpr if the time constraint t is not met.


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