"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you walk," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get somewhere, " Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk
Lewis Carroll, Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland
Sometimes the effort to reach a decision on a public policy issue seems very
much like wandering in Alice's enchanted forest
(where, as the dialogue with the Cheshire Cat continues, Alice is told that "we're all mad
here.... You must be, or you wouldn't have come here.") Surely, there must
be a better way! In fact, there is a whole family of "better ways,"
which in common are called "decision analysis." They are attempts to
organize the consideration of alternative outcomes in some orderly, logical
fashion. In this unit, the focus is primarily on what are called "Decision
trees." They are graphic representations of choice and "chance"
(i.e., the probability of unknown events).
For Further Information:
© 1996 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 11 March 2005