The assessment of the relative energies (or thermodynamic stabilities), reactivities, and physical properties of alternative conformations
of a molecular entity, usually by the application of qualitative or semi-quantitative rules or by semi-empirical calculations.
PAC, 1996, 68, 2193
(Basic terminology of stereochemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1996))
on page 2204
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook