Waterman, D. A.

Generalization learning techniques for automating the learning of heuristics


This paper investigates the problem of implementing machine learning of heuristics. First, a method of representing heuristics as production rules is developed which facilitates dynamic manipulation of the heuristics by the program embodying them. Second, procedures are developed which permit a problem-solving program employing heuristics in production rule form to learn to improve its performance by evaluating and modifying existing heuristics and hypothesizing new ones, either during an explicit training process or during normal program operation. Finally, problems which merit further investigation are discussed, including the problem of defining the task environment and the problem of adapting the system to board games.