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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


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
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The algorithm has many additional logics, but here we focus on the heuristics only.
Heuristics and NBCSN implemented LearningBuilder in just four weeks, far quicker than the standard twelve-week implementation period for programs of this size.
Current and previous research studies have primarily concentrated on heuristics based on different criteria.
These insights can be succinctly expressed in two heuristics, or organizing principles.
Most of the time, specific heuristics will work better as it is completed by specific usability checklists.
Nonetheless, the question is, "how to carry out an assignment with optimal objective, and at the same time, fulfilling all the related constraints?" In order to address the question, several diverse methods have been proposed [1, 2], such as the exact method [4], the heuristics method [5], the local search-based [6], the population search-based [7], and the hybrid algorithm [8].
There are, in the literature, heuristics and recommendations for the evaluation and design of gameplay.
The proposed heuristic is a combination of greedy depth first search, unreachable vertex, and rotational transformation heuristics.
Some of the most recent and direct examples take into account filtering of heuristics that will be considered during the process (thus discarding redundant ones) [16].
Hence, heuristics are useful to taking some shortcuts to decide faster and with fewer resources, even if that leads to suboptimal decisions.
Hence, for complex problems, the application of heuristics offers a stark choice.