Self-organising heuristic

Self-organising heuristic is a strategy or rule for organising a list in response to how it is accessed. Examples might be:

  • Move to front (or 'Move to top')
  • Order by frequency of access
  • Re-insert at random position
  • Move to back

Example Applications

Move to front, or Order by frequency, might be used to organise a cache of information, so that frequently used, or recently used information is at the top (and so can be found quickly, without having to traverse the whole list).

Order by frequency might be used to re-arrange a list of options in a GUI menu, so that the top ones are the ones most commonly selected by the user.

Re-insert at random or Move to back might be used to organise a list of mirror servers, so that once a server has been used for downloading, it goes to the back of the queue, to discourage the user from selecting it again.

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