Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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 ?
This article studies the impact of spatial and temporal variation on multivehicle DARP using route construction heuristics.
Analysis of such factors for construction heuristics forms the motivation for this study.
Not much energy, in form of glucose, is burned when applying heuristics.
In general, all these methods manage a set of algorithms (solvers, heuristics, or strategies) and apply one that is suitable to the current problem state of the instance being solved.
The modification of Exact Fit selection heuristic and BLF placement heuristic is presented in detail and other common heuristics in literatures are introduced in Section 3.
The established heuristic evaluation method employed in this study is Nielsen's ten heuristics for user experience design (Molich & Nielsen, 1990, p.
Heuristics are extant in the literature which build low cost, diameter-constrained spanning trees in O([n.
Heuristics are well-organized cognitive processes, intentional or unintentional, that disregard part of the data.
In other words, human thinking and reasoning are often biased by intuitive heuristics (De Neys & Feremans, 2013).
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.
Reliance on Heuristics Can Develop into Heuristic-Based Customs B.