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# PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGIES

1. Algoriths
2. Heuristic
3. Means-end analysis
4. analogical reasoning

ALGORITHS
is a step by step procedure that will always produce correct
solutions. A mathematical formula is a good example of a
problem solving algorithm. While an algorithm guarantee an
accurate answers, it is not always the best approach to problem
solving . This strategy is not practical for many situation because
it can be too time consuming. For example if you were trying to
figure out all of the possible number combination to a lock using
an algorithm it would take a very long time.

EXAMPLES
1. Binary arithmetic, converting from decimal to
binary
2. Tying shoes
3. A recipe

HEURISTIC
is a mental rule of tumb strategy that may or
may not work in certain situation. Unlike
algorithms, heuristics do not always guarantee a
correct solution. However, using this problem
solving strategy does allow people to simplify
complex problems and reduce the total number
of possible solution to a more manageable

EXAMPLES
You are purchasing three items at the store, at these
prices
\$19.95
\$39.98
\$29.97
How much money are you spending?

## HERE ARE SEVERAL GENERAL

PROBLEM SOLVING HEURISTICS THAT
STUDENTS MAY FIND HELPFUL IN
1. Identify subgoals . Break a large complex task into two
or more specific subtasks that can be more easily addressed.
2. Use paper and pencil. Draw a diagram, list a problem
components or jot down potential solution or approaches
3. Draw an analogy. Identify a situation analogous to the
problem and derive potential solution or approaches
4. Brainstorm. Generate a wide variety of possible
approaches or solution including some that might initially
seem outlandish or absurd without initially evaluating any
of them . Once a lengthy list has been created ,evaluate
each item for its potential relevance and usefulness.

## 5. Incubate the situation. Let a

problem remain unresolved for a few
hours or days allowing time for a
broad search of long term memory for
potentially productive approaches.

MEANS-END ANALYSIS

## is an approach that puts together aspects of both

forward and backward reasoning in that both the
condition and action portion of rules are
considered when we decide which rules to apply
the logic of the process takes into account the
gap between the current situation and the desired
goal-where we wish to get to and proposes
actions in order to close the gap between the two

## - The method uses a set of rules that enable the

goal to be achieved iteratively . The rules consist
of two parts : rules that are prerequisites and
ones that show the changes to be implemented
- MEA works by considering the present
position as the current state and the objectives
as the goal state. The differences between the
desired and the goal state are considered and
actions are proposed that reduce the gap
between the initial and desired states.

## - Since the process is working from the

current state towards a goal it is said to be
doing forward chaining which implies a
search strategy and a procedure that
regards goal achievement as success- or if
the outcome of a sub-goal is failure a new
search is begun

## Aunt Agatha and the invite to tea

Aunt Agatha lives in Brighton and has invited me to tea this afternoon
she has a lot of money which she may leave to me which is actually
a longer term goal for this journey. I am sitting in my office in London
and need to decide how to get to Brighton.
Now there are lots of ways to do this: train, car, bus, on foot, private
jet or roller blades but I subject myself to the following cost
constraints:
- I must arrive at Brighton today within three hours
- the journey must cost no more than \$100
- any distance less than one mile must be walked
To begin this process I consider the available means against my
constraints and decide on taking the train via Victoria to Brighton. To
do this I need to leave my office and travel to the main station at
Victoria which is a new goal.
To get to Victoria I can walk, take a taxi, bus or go by underground.
Because of time constraints and cost I decide to take the
underground to Victoria this becomes a new sub goal. The nearest
tube station being less than one mile away I walk

## On arrival at the station I find the line is down due to a

breakdown (goal failure). I can return on foot to get my
car to drive to Brighton but this moves me away from my
goal on cost and distance. I decide to take the bus to
Victoria which becomes a new goal and as the distance is
less than one mile I walk to the bus station.
I take the bus to Victoria alight and walk to the station
office and purchase a ticket to Brighton. At Brighton I
have to get to Agathas house I can use the Bus, Taxi or
Walk. As the distance is less than one mile I walk and
arrive at Aunt Agathas house the end goal.

ANALOGICAL REASONING
- The subjects can use a previous problem to
solve a new problem and bypass an
increment search for the problem space