Influence Diagrams

Howard, Ronald A.; Matheson, James E.
September 2005
Decision Analysis;Sep2005, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p127
Academic Journal
The article focuses on the probabilistic use of influence diagrams. Influence diagram is at once both a formal description of the problem that can be treated by computers and a representation easily understood by people in all walks of life and degrees of technical proficiency. Because of its generality, the influence diagram is an important tool not only for decision analysis, but for any formal description of relationship and thus for all modeling work. An influence diagram is a way of describing the dependencies among aleatory variables and decisions. An influence diagram can be used to visualize the probabilistic dependencies in a decision analysis and to specify the states of information for which independencies can be assumed to exist. The automated system, not the user, develops the decision tree from the influence diagram specifications.


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