EU/ME - the metaheuristics community

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Metaheuristics - a definition

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A metaheuristic is a heuristic method for solving a very general class of computational problems by combining user-given black-box procedures — usually heuristics themselves — in the hope of obtaining a more efficient or more robust procedure. The name combines the Greek prefix "meta" ("beyond", here in the sense of "higher level") and "heuristic" (from ευρισκειν, heuriskein, "to find").

Metaheuristics are generally applied to problems for which there is no satisfactory problem-specific algorithm or heuristic; or when it is not practical to implement such a method. Most commonly used metaheuristics are targeted to combinatorial optimization problems, but of course can handle any problem that can be recast in that form, such as solving boolean equations.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 09:50  


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