Heuristic Rule

A heuristic is a rule that provides a shortcut to solving difficult problems. Heuristics are used when you have limited time and/or information to make a decision. Heuristics lead you to a good decision most of the time. Heuristics are discussed in both computer science and psychology circles.

From http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=heuristic :

"A RuleOfThumb, simplification, or educated guess that reduces or limits the search for solutions in domains that are difficult and poorly understood. Unlike algorithms, heuristics do not guarantee optimal, or even feasible, solutions and are often used with no theoretical guarantee"

Heuristics are good when:

Heuristics are bad when:

Examples of heuristics:

Differences between heuristics and software DesignPatterns:

More information about heuristics:

Books on the Subject


There's a wiki devoted to heuristics starting up at: http://greenlightwiki.com/heuristic

See also RulesVsHeuristics

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