"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 21 August 2009


I came across the word 'heuristic' the other day and looked it up. Unfortunately I'm not sure I understand the answer! Nevertheless I include the defionbitions in the hope they may enlighten someone....

A rule of thumb, 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.
Heuristic is a word which relates to a commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem.
Heuristic is an adjective for experience-based techniques that help in problem solving, learning and discovery. A heuristic method is particularly used to rapidly come to a solution that is hoped to be close to the best possible answer, or 'optimal solution'.


  1. heuristic == allowing your gut feeling to guide you to some form of solution

    Most of my work is heuristic and sometimes works!

  2. Thank you Mark - why couldn't the dictionary put it that simply?