Using Decision Theory to Justify Heuristics

Reference: Langlotz, C. P.; Shortliffe, E. H.; & Fagan, L. M. Using Decision Theory to Justify Heuristics. 1986.

Abstract: We present a method for using decision theory to evaluate the merit of individual situation action heuristics. The design of a decision theoretic approach to the analysis of heusistics is illustrated in the context of a rule from the MYCIN system. Using calculations and plots generated by an automated decision making tool, decision theoretic insights are shown which are of practical use to the knowledge engineer. The relevance of this approach to previous discussions of heuristics is discussed. We suggest that a synthesis of artificial intelligence and decision theory will lead to enhanced system performance and an expansion of the problem solving domains in which expert systems can be used.

Notes: Working Paper.

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