Heuristic Programming

What Does Heuristic Programming Mean?

Heuristic programming approaches the idea of artificial intelligence by solving problems using experience-based rules or protocols.


Techopedia Explains Heuristic Programming

In general, the word ‘heuristic’ in computer science refers to a philosophy that is different from the quantifying, logic-driven computer processes that powered the advance of primitive computers in past decades.

Contrary to the principle of using strict algorithm-based computing, heuristics is in many key senses a shortcut to a quantified logic type of programming. Heuristic programming seeks to achieve a goal by substituting certain kinds of machine learning programs for logical algorithms.

Another way to say this is that while algorithms operate on known systems and logical principles, heuristic programming operates on a series of ‘intelligent guesses’ or informed operations that are not entirely based on hard numbers or hard data.

One example of a heuristic programming process is a program that will analyze the contents of a drive or file system. The logical program would search in a pre-programmed way, for example, alphabetically or in terms of recent data modification, where the heuristic programming system might be programmed to perform according to past searches that a user originated.

Here, the machine is learning from the user. Another good example of heuristic programming is in the use of natural language processing tools. In addition to sophisticated algorithms, many of these programs are using machine learning or heuristic programming principles, where the program analyzes past input from the user and factors it into the core processes that provide results.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…