What is heuristic? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

As an adjective, heuristic (pronounced hyu-RIS-tik and from the Greek "heuriskein" meaning "to discover") pertains to the process of gaining knowledge or some desired result by intelligent guesswork rather than by following some preestablished formula. (Heuristic can be contrasted with algorithm ic.) The term seems to have two usages:

1) Describing an approach to learning by trying without necessarily having an organized hypothesis or way of proving that the results proved or disproved the hypothesis. That is, "seat-of-the-pants" or "trial-by-error" learning.

2) Pertaining to the use of the general knowledge gained by experience, sometimes expressed as "using a rule-of-thumb." (However, heuristic knowledge can be applied to complex as well as simple everyday problems. Human chess players use a heuristic approach.)

As a noun, a heuristic is a specific rule-of-thumb or argument derived from experience. The application of heuristic knowledge to a problem is sometimes known as heuristics .

This was last updated in August 2009
Contributor(s): XoXus
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • JBoss

    - JBoss is a division of Red Hat that provides support for the JBoss open source application server program and related middleware services marketed under the JBoss Enterprise Middleware brand. (WhatIs.com)

  • GPU supercomputer

    - A GPU supercomputer is a networked group of computers with multiple graphics processing units working as general-purpose GPUs (GPGPUs) in tandem on a single task. (WhatIs.com)

  • video card (graphics card)

    - A video adapter (alternate terms include graphics card, display adapter, video card, video board and almost any combination of the words in these terms) is an integrated circuit card in a computer ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.