The **Karnaugh map** (**K-map** for short), Maurice Karnaugh's 1953 refinement of Edward Veitch's 1952 **Veitch diagram**, is a method to simplify Boolean algebra expressions. The Karnaugh map reduces the need for extensive calculations by taking advantage of humans' pattern-recognition capability. It also permits the rapid identification and elimination of potential race conditions.

The required boolean results are transferred from a truth table onto a two-dimensional grid where the cells are ordered in Gray code, and each cell represents one combination of input conditions. Optimal groups of 1s or 0s are identified, which represent the terms of a canonical form of the logic in the original truth table. These terms can be used to write a minimal boolean expression representing the required logic.

Karnaugh maps are used to simplify real-world logic requirements so that they can be implemented using a minimum number of physical logic gates. A sum-of-products expression can always be implemented using AND gates feeding into an OR gate, and a product-of-sums expression leads to OR gates feeding an AND gate. Karnaugh maps can also be used to simplify logic expressions in software design. Boolean conditions, as used for example in conditional statements, can get very complicated, which makes the code difficult to read and to maintain. Once minimised, canonical sum-of-products and product-of-sums expressions can be implemented directly using AND and OR logic operators.

Read more about Karnaugh Map: Example

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