I found this website thanks to user Lim. But please explain like I'm five the two options below.

  1. What does "soft" vs. "hard" mean?

  2. "(k-means)" vs. "hard (Force vector)"?

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  • Welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Nov 13, 2021 at 20:33
  • 1
    I changed some of your titles because, honestly, a 5 year old isn't going to grasp some of them no matter how they are explained. :) Roll back if you think I was wrong in making any change.
    – Scott
    Nov 14, 2021 at 8:03
  • @Scott no problem. out of curiosity, what age do you think is more fitting? 14?
    – Wes
    Nov 14, 2021 at 8:39
  • For age, I'd think 10+ possibly, once spacial relationships are more understood. But I'll be honest, I'm not overly exposed to any 5 or 10 years olds, so I may not be the absolute best judge here. Other's may be better.. sounds like a good question possibly -- at what age can basic design theories be comprehended.
    – Scott
    Nov 14, 2021 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


It is explained on this page. Basically "hard" pushes the values apart, which causes the points to be as far away as they can be. While "k-means" uses clustering, in other words tries to find the center of a division of space, thus not being as extreme as the latter.

So basically the difference is like asking:

  • A group of people, in a room, to be as far away from each other as they can
  • and dividing a room into equally big spaces and have them stand in the middle of the space.

Thus in the first case they tend to be near the walls, in the later not so much. But I'm not sure a 5 year old can appreciate the difference.


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