Decision Analysis and Expert Systems
Decision analysis and expert systems are technologies intended to support human reasoning and decision making by formalizing expert knowledge so that it is amenable to mechanized reasoning methods. Despite some common goals, these two paradigms have evolved divergently, with fundamental differences in principle and practice. Recent recognition of the deficiencies of traditional AI techniques for treating uncertainty, coupled with the development of belief nets and influence diagrams, is stimulating renewed enthusiasm among AI researchers in probabilistic reasoning and decision analysis. We present the key ideas of decision analysis and review recent research and applications that aim toward a marriage of these two paradigms. This work combines decision-analytic methods for structuring and encoding uncertain knowledge and preferences with computational techniques from AI for knowledge representation, inference, and explanation. We end by outlining remaining research issues to fully develop the potential of this enterprise.
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