- Abstract A pattern database is a heuristic function stored as a lookup table. This paper considers how best to use a fixed amount (m units) of memory for storing pattern databases. In particular, we examine whether using n pattern databases of size m/n instead of one pattern database of size m improves search performance. In all the domains considered, the use of multiple smaller pattern databases reduces the number of nodes generated by IDA*. The paper provides an explanation for this phenomenon based on the distribution of heuristic values that occur during search.