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

  • project management

    - Project management is a methodical approach that uses established principles, procedures and policies to guide a project from start to finish to produce a defined outcome. (SearchCIO.com)

  • haptics

    - Haptics (pronounced HAP-tiks) is the science of applying touch (tactile) sensation and control to interaction with computer applications. (WhatIs.com)

  • business continuance (business continuity)

    - Business continuance (sometimes referred to as business continuity) describes the processes and procedures an organization puts in place to ensure that essential functions can continue during and a... (SearchStorage.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.