Last updated: January 11, 2017

What Does Heuristic Mean?

In computing, heuristic refers to a problem-solving method executed through learning-based techniques and experience. When exhaustive search methods are impractical, heuristic methods are used to find efficient solutions.

Heuristic methods are designed for conceptual simplicity and enhanced computational performance - often at the cost of accuracy.


Techopedia Explains Heuristic

Heuristic methods use available data, rather than predefined solutions, to solve machine and human problems. Heuristical solutions are not necessarily provable or accurate but are usually good enough to solve small-scale issues that are part of a larger problem.

When a heuristic algorithm meets a new crossroad, a decision is made and learned. Successive iteration results are interdependent, as each level learns which avenues to choose and discard, based on its proximity to the solution. Thus, because some possibilities are less likely to reach a viable solution, they are never generated.


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