Ochoa G & Ozcan E (2010) Special issue on hyper-heuristics in search and optimization. Journal of Heuristics, 16 (6), pp. 745-748. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10732-010-9147-x
First paragraph: A hyper-heuristic is an automated methodology for selecting or generating heuristics to solve hard computational search problems. The main feature distinguishing these methods is that they explore a search space of heuristics (rather than a search space of potential solutions to a problem). The goal is that hyper-heuristics will lead to more general systems that are able to automatically operate over a wider range of problem domains than is possible today. The term hyper-heuristic was first used in 1997 to describe a protocol that combines several artificial intelligence methods in the context of automated theorem proving. The term was independently used in 2000 to describe 'heuristics to choose heuristics' in the context of combinatorial optimization. The idea of automating the design of heuristics, however, can be traced back to the early 60s. A more recent research trend in hyper-heuristics attempts to automatically generate new heuristics suited to a given problem or class of problems. This is typically done by combining, through the use of genetic programming for example, components or building-blocks of human designed heuristics.
Journal of Heuristics: Volume 16, Issue 6