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GODDESS: A Goal-Directed Decision Structuring System

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3 Author(s)
Judea Pearl ; SENIOR MEMBER, IEEE, Cognitive Systems Laboratory, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024. ; Antonio Leal ; Joseph Saleh

This paper describes an operational version of a computerized, domain-independent, decision support system which is based on a novel, goal-directed structure for representing decision problems. The structure allows the user to state relations among aspects, effects, conditions, and goals, in addition to actions and states which are the basic components of the traditional decision tree approach. The program interacts with the user in a stylized English-like dialogue, starting with the stated objectives and proceeding to unravel the more detailed means by which these objectives can be realized. At any point in time, the program focuses the user's attention on the issues which are most crucial to the problem at hand. The structure used is more compatible with the way people encode knowledge about problems and actions, and therefore promises to offer the following advantages: 1) judgments and beliefs issued by the user constitute a more valid representation of the user's experience; and 2) the user may be guided toward the discovery of action alternatives he otherwise would not have identified.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence  (Volume:PAMI-4 ,  Issue: 3 )