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