**The focus of this question:** Some software performs "extra work" in order to increase the chance of a "eventually successful/satisfactory" outcome, despite one or more internal errors in the software, which requires a longer execution time when those errors happen.

Definition of complex software:

  - Contains code written by (contributed from) more than 20 developers over its lifetime, and not written in the same time frame
  - Depends on more than 10 external libraries, each with caveats
  - A typical software task (for generating a result wanted by the user) requires 10 or more input parameters, where most of them have default values but are configurable if the user needs control.
  - Most importantly, software that has the appropriate complexity relative to the task being performed, i.e. *not unnecessarily complicated*.


  - If a software task failed when the current set of parameters was used, try different parameters.
    - Obviously, there must be inside knowledge that those "different" parameters use a different code path, possibly resulting in a different (hopefully better) outcome.
    - Sometimes these different code path are chosen based on observations of the external libraries.
  - At the end, if the actual task performed is slightly different from the user's specification, the user will receive a report detailing the discrepancy.
  - Finally, like the 10-plus configurable parameters, the redundancy and reporting are also configurable.

Example of such software:

  - Database Migration
    - Business database
    - Source control database, etc.
  - Batch converting between a Word document and an OpenOffice document, PowerPoint and OpenOffice Draw, etc.
  - Automatic translation of an entire website
  - Automatic analysis of software package, such as Doxygen, but where the analysis needs to be more dependable (i.e. not just a documentation tool)
  - Network communication, where packets may be lost and a number of retries are expected

*This question was originally inspired from <a href="http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/7530/how-do-you-deal-with-intentionally-bad-code">How do you deal with intentionally bad code?</a><br> but is now focused on just one of the causes of software bloat. This question does not address any other causes of software bloat, such as addition of new features.*

*Possibly related: <a href="http://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/19071/how-to-deal-with-complex-codes-in-huge-projects">How to deal with complex codes in (huge) projects</a>*