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1. Of or relating to a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem: "The historian discovers the past by the judicious use of such a heuristic device as the 'ideal type'" (Karl J. Weintraub).
2. Of or constituting an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student.
3. Computers Relating to or using a problem-solving technique in which the most appropriate solution of several found by alternative methods is selected at successive stages of a program for use in the next step of the program.
1. A heuristic method or process.
2. heuristics(used with a sing. verb) The study and application of heuristic methods and processes.

[From Greek heuriskein, to find.]

heu·ris′ti·cal·ly adv.


1. (Logic) (functioning as singular) maths logic a method or set of rules for solving problems other than by algorithm. See also algorithm1, artificial intelligence
2. (Mathematics) (functioning as singular) maths logic a method or set of rules for solving problems other than by algorithm. See also algorithm1, artificial intelligence


a method of argument in which postulates or assumptions are made that remain to be proven or that lead the arguers to discover the proofs themselves. — heuristic, adj.
See also: Argumentation
References in periodicals archive ?
Design heuristics were identified in award-winning products and the protocols of professionals performing design tasks.
Now, to paraphrase Alexander Pope, a little interdisciplinary learning is a dangerous thing: BOps has imported mainly one view of decision-making, in which the heuristics that people use, which lead to deviations from the assumptions of homo economicus, are typically viewed as a liability.
The developed algorithms and heuristics combined with an ever-increasing computer speed efficiently searched large game trees and thus effectively competed with the best human players.
Five heuristics based on weighted graph parameters were employed to select which courses were to be scheduled next.
The heuristic techniques for solving FSP are grouped in: constructive heuristics and improvement heuristics.
What are the implications of heuristics for understanding good and bad decisions?
Goldman argues that the heuristics that were at play in our prehistoric ancestors are so hardwired into our brains that they still shape how we act and react as lawyers and negotiators.
of Washington, respectively) have combined forces to edit this textbook concerning heuristics, or problem-solving techniques, for a wide range of power systems applications.
Referencing Wikipedia in your January 2008 article on heuristics is like doing research at McDonald's.
2002) have shown that this problem is NP-hard so heuristics must be used for difficult problems.
By using heuristics (rules created and used by expert human beings) in combination with performance data, it is possible to continually tune statistical fraud-detection methods to ensure the methods keep pace with ever-changing market conditions and fraud patterns.