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Decision Trees, Evaluation

A decision tree is a branched structure used as a tool to support decision making by displaying key elements of the choices among alternatives and the consequences of each choice. This entry uses several examples to illustrate the evaluation of decision trees.

The following examples of surgery versus radiation therapy for Stage 1 (early stage) versus Stage 4 (late stage) disease demonstrate the visual benefits of a decision tree without needing to completely elaborate the tree or to perform any calculations. These examples also explore why the decision analyst in charge of the construction and elaboration of a decision tree needs to be in full control of the key aspects of the decisions that may influence (a) the patient's decision in each stage of this disease ...

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