Want to Step Up Your Heuristic Method? You Need to Read This First

Problems, obstacles, or complications are an inevitable part of human life. Suppose your life isn’t challenging, then you are not going to be a strong or a tremendous leader. In the usual daily routine, we confront multiple problems throughout the day. Who resonates with such an obstacle as a skipping stone endeavours greater success in life? Some problems are straightforward, while others are more complex, which requires an instant solution.

Whether mathematical, technical, or algorithmic, these problems disrupt the individuals and often create mayhem, detracting individuals from making a productive solution. Remember, before finding a solution to a problem; the problem must be analysed. After which a problem-solving method can be applied. Generally, there are three problems solving method:

  • Trial and Error Method: It’s the most commonly used method for problem-solving. In this method, the problem solver continues to opt for different solutions until the problem is solved.
  • Algorithmic Problem Solving: In such method step by step guidelines are followed to achieve the desired outcome. The same results are produced every time. These methods are applied in day to day lives, especially in computer science.Heuristic Method
  • Heuristic: Using the heuristic method, the correct result cant be found, but to get the solution or outcome somewhere near to trial and error or algorithm method results. If your deadline is on the verge and you want an optimal solution. Then Heuristic problem-solving techniques could be best suited for you. Remember! The heuristic technique saves a lot of time and effort despite the fact that it isn’t the best problem-solving method for rational decisions. Different types of heuristic approaches are used in different situations. But the impulse to use such methodology occurs when one of the following five conditions are met-
    1. When one set one’s hand with too many problems
    2. When the deadlines are on the verge
    3. When the decisions to be made are unimportant.
    4. When access to the information is limited.
    5. When an appropriate heuristic technique strikes the mind.

What is Heuristic Method?

Heuristic method

The Heuristic word originated from the Greek word “Heuriskein,” which means “find.” The heuristic method is a problem-solving technique designed to derive solutions in a faster and more efficient way rather than the traditional methods by sacrificing optimality, accuracy, precision, and completeness for speed. Heuristic problem-solving techniques are often used when approximate solutions are enough for deriving a solution, or exact solutions are necessarily computationally expensive. These methods are generally used by engineers, scientists for solving design type problems that are non-algorithmic. The heuristic method isn’t learned through academic lessons but is developed through experience.

In simpler words, heuristic problem-solving psychology isn’t a formal way of solving a problem. But it can be used to solve problems where solutions aren’t needed to be perfect or optimal. Heuristics are the mental shortcuts that help in deriving an instant solution. We often automatically use heuristics to solve queries. Using heuristics to solve problems sometimes may cost too much, unstable in the current environment, or for the long term project.

Some of the widely used examples are:

  • Thumb rule
  • Educated Guess
  • Stereotyping
  • Profiling
  • Common Sense

How Do You Use Heuristic to Solve Problems?

Oftentimes to make quick decisions, we automatically use heuristics. Its facilities timely decision makings. Professionals across every sector use heuristic methods like thumb rule, past formulas, the process of elimination, etc. Heuristic simplifies the decision-making process and even faster-using shortcuts and good enough solutions. Founder of Heuristic Hungarian mathematician Gyorgy Polya explained four principles the lay the base for problem-solving.

  • First Principle – Understand the Problem: People often hinder when it comes to finding a suitable approach for a problem. The foremost step of problem-solving is analysing it from several angles. Self-answering questions like the problem, what is happening, can it be solved in a simpler way, is enough information available, etc. Such questions aid in the evaluation of problem issues.  Heuristic method
  • Second Principle – Make a Plan – A strategy without an action plan is baseless. There are several ways to review the problem. Here in this principle best strategy has opted that best fits the problem at hand.
  • Third Principle – Carry Out the Plan – Once the action plan is ready. The plan can quickly be implemented. It’s crucial to carry forward the plan, timely attention consciously, and strategist needs to be patient as the solution will not appear simply.
  • Fourth Principle – Evaluate and Adapt – Carefully consider the problem; the plans or ideas that go well should be maintained, whereas those solutions that yield less should be adjusted.

What are the Types of Heuristics?

The Heuristic is the initial thought or response that instantly strikes the mind automatically. The heuristic method can be fractioned into several types.

Here are some of the well-known heuristics –

  • Dividing Technique: Under this technique, a big problem is fragmented into smaller sub-problems, which can be solved easily. Later all such smaller sub-problems are assembled together, which eventually leads to solving bigger problems.  Heuristic Method
  • Inductive Method: Under these techniques, a problem that has already been solved has opted for assumptions. Generalization is derived from the solved problems which assist in solving an actual problem.
  • Reduction Method: Problems often turn individuals topsy-turvy. This mythology sets limits for problem-solving. This leverages the intensity of the original problem and makes it easier to solve.
  • Constructive Method: Under this method, a step by step by step approach is followed. The smallest solution is considered as a victory mark, and from their consecutive steps are taken. In this way, the best choices are made, which eventually leads to success.
  • Local Search Method: Under this method, the best method is opted after an extensive search and is improved along the way. The solution ends when there is no room for improvement.

Drawbacks of Heuristic Algorithm

Often there is a trade-off with the usage of Heuristic problem-solving techniques as they are prone to bias or error in the judgment. The final decision may not be accurate, optimal, or the best solution. When using the heuristic technique, there is often a dilemma amongst the individuals that the formulas that have been used over the past will continually earn profits for them. But it’s unreal; Newer solutions need to be developed for a top-notch solution.

So what do you think about the heuristic problem-solving technique? Have you ever used such techniques to give an instant solution? If yes, do you recognize the outcome? Share your experiences and knowledge of using heuristic analysis in the comment section below.

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