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The expression to be optimized in some objective function. The cost can correspond to some quantity we wish to minimize (e.g., energy, time) or maximize (e.g. smoothness), or to the degree to which the performance deviates from a mathematically defined criterion. Following the imposed constraints (e.g. at the beginning and end-points of a movement), minimizing the cost function with respect to its arguments enables us to predict the optimal performance in the desired context.