Try solving a more general problem first (the "inventor's paradox": the more ambitious plan may have more chances of success). A “rule of thumb” is an example of a heuristic. Not only does it help to get you started, but it also provides a guide to your thinking processes. Math heuristics improve problem-solving performance. Profiling as a heuristic method for problem-solving might entail analyzing data to understand and resolve a problem or to look for patterns, just like a root cause analysis. Heuristics are problem-solving techniques that result in a quick and practical solution. Knowing a set of Math heuristics can dramatically increase your chances of solving any Math problem. A heuristic is another type of problem solving strategy. It’s like equipping yourself with a valuable toolbox to help you solve these challenging problem sums. An example of approximation is described by Jon Bentley for solving the travelling salesman problem (TSP): The information can be related to the nature of the state, cost of transforming from one state to another, goal node characterstics, etc., which is expressed as a heuristic function. Psychology. While an algorithm must be followed exactly to produce a correct result, a heuristic is a general problem-solving framework (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). Most heuristic methods involve using mental shortcuts to make decisions based on prior experiences. One way of achieving the computational performance gain expected of a heuristic consists of solving a simpler problem whose solution is also a solution to the initial problem. It is also clear from the above example that a heuristic function h(n) can be defined as the information required to solve a given problem more efficiently. You can think of these as mental shortcuts that are used to solve problems. Examples Simpler problem. In situations where perfect solutions may be improbable, heuristics can be used to achieve imperfect but satisfactory decisions. Travelling salesman problem. Understanding Heuristics. If the problem is abstract, try examining a concrete example. Example: To solve the issue of the faulty PC, a system administrator might look for similar patterns which might have led to the problem.