Decision tree is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like graph or model of decisions and their possible consequences, including chance event outcomes, resource costs, and utility. It is one way to display an algorithm. Decision trees are commonly used in operations research, specifically in decision analysis, to help identify a strategy most likely to reach a goal, but are also a popular tool in machine learning. Each internal node of a decision tree represents a “test” on an attribute (e.g. whether a coin flip comes up heads or tails), each branch represents the outcome of the test, and each leaf node represents a class label (decision taken after computing all attributes). The paths from the root to leaf represent classification rules. In decision analysis, a decision tree and the closely related influence diagram are used as a visual and analytical decision support tool, where the expected values of competing alternatives are calculated. Decision trees are commonly used in operations research and operations management.
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