Selecting the most appropriate heuristic for solving a specific problem is not easy, for many reasons. This article focuses on one of these reasons: traditionally, the solution search process has operated in a given manner regardless of the specific problem being solved, and the process has been the same regardless of the size, complexity and domain of the problem. To cope with this situation, search processes should mould the search into areas of the search space that are meaningful for the problem. This article builds on previous work in the development of a multi-agent paradigm using techniques derived from knowledge discovery (data-mining techniques) on databases of so-far visited solutions. The aim is to improve the search mechanisms, increase computational efficiency and use rules to enrich the formulation of optimization problems, while reducing the search space and catering to realistic problems.