California Investment Network


Recent Blog


Pitching Help Desk


Testimonials

"We have already had one investor for $25K, and another who is very involved in the food business, who could be a funder on a much larger level. So we are very pleased, and offer our thanks."
Bruce J.

 BLOG >> Recent

Decision Tree Diagrams [Decision Trees
Posted on March 21, 2016 @ 06:20:00 AM by Paul Meagher

I've been reading quite a bit about decision making lately and one common recommendation for making better decisions is to diagram your decision using decision trees.

In Reid Hastie & Robyn M. Dawes textbook Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgement and Decision Making (2nd Edition, 2010) they use the convention that decision alternatives are indicated by a small square and event alternatives are indicated by a small circle. I used the online diagramming tool draw.io to create the skeleton of a basic decision tree diagram:

In a fully specified decision tree diagram I would also have labels along each horizontal branch, probabilities along each event branch, and consequence values at the terminal end of each event branch (see this previous blog for an example). I won't be going into such details in this blog because I want to focus on the first step in diagramming a decision tree; namely, drawing the skeletal structure of a decision tree.

If you want to diagram decisions it is useful to have a tool that makes it easy to do so. A piece a paper is a good option, but I wanted to use a piece of software to create decision tree diagrams exactly as they appear in the textbook mentioned above. The draw.io tool fits these requirements. In a previous blog I demonstrated a more complex approach to creating decision trees. In this blog I wanted to find a more accessible approach that anyone could use without installing a bunch of software.

Decision trees have lots of symmetrical branches and drawing them was the main challenge I had in making decision tree skeletons. Duplicating and dragging horizontal or vertical lines were the main actions I ended up using to create the symmetrical decision tree diagram above. The left column in the figure above shows the "General" and the "Misc" symbol libraries that I used to create the square, circle, and line shapes. By default they are available to use when you access the draw.io online application and you just need to click the library name to open it and access the diagramming shapes you want to use.

It would be possible to print off a decision tree template like this so you can write labels and numbers onto it. It would be a ready-made template for a common form of decision problem, namely, a decision with 2 possible choices and 2 possible event outcomes that will determine the expected consequences for each choice.

In this blog my goal was to suggest some software you can use to create decision tree diagrams (draw.io) and how you can go about creating nice symmetrical tree diagrams with it. There are probably more efficient techniques to use than what I'm suggesting as I just started playing around with draw.io for this purpose and the duplicate and drag approach was the first approach that worked ok. We can use decision tree diagrams to explore a wide range issues in decision making and in future blogs we'll explore some of these issues.

Here are some useful tips that will get you up to speed quickly using draw.io.

Permalink 

 Archive 
 

Archive


 December 2019 [1]
 November 2019 [2]
 October 2019 [2]
 September 2019 [1]
 July 2019 [1]
 June 2019 [2]
 May 2019 [2]
 April 2019 [5]
 March 2019 [4]
 February 2019 [3]
 January 2019 [3]
 December 2018 [4]
 November 2018 [2]
 September 2018 [2]
 August 2018 [1]
 July 2018 [1]
 June 2018 [1]
 May 2018 [5]
 April 2018 [4]
 March 2018 [2]
 February 2018 [4]
 January 2018 [4]
 December 2017 [2]
 November 2017 [6]
 October 2017 [6]
 September 2017 [6]
 August 2017 [2]
 July 2017 [2]
 June 2017 [5]
 May 2017 [7]
 April 2017 [6]
 March 2017 [8]
 February 2017 [7]
 January 2017 [9]
 December 2016 [7]
 November 2016 [7]
 October 2016 [5]
 September 2016 [5]
 August 2016 [4]
 July 2016 [6]
 June 2016 [5]
 May 2016 [10]
 April 2016 [12]
 March 2016 [10]
 February 2016 [11]
 January 2016 [12]
 December 2015 [6]
 November 2015 [8]
 October 2015 [12]
 September 2015 [10]
 August 2015 [14]
 July 2015 [9]
 June 2015 [9]
 May 2015 [10]
 April 2015 [10]
 March 2015 [9]
 February 2015 [8]
 January 2015 [5]
 December 2014 [11]
 November 2014 [10]
 October 2014 [10]
 September 2014 [8]
 August 2014 [7]
 July 2014 [6]
 June 2014 [7]
 May 2014 [6]
 April 2014 [3]
 March 2014 [8]
 February 2014 [6]
 January 2014 [5]
 December 2013 [5]
 November 2013 [3]
 October 2013 [4]
 September 2013 [11]
 August 2013 [4]
 July 2013 [8]
 June 2013 [10]
 May 2013 [14]
 April 2013 [12]
 March 2013 [11]
 February 2013 [19]
 January 2013 [20]
 December 2012 [5]
 November 2012 [1]
 October 2012 [3]
 September 2012 [1]
 August 2012 [1]
 July 2012 [1]
 June 2012 [2]


Categories


 Agriculture [71]
 Bayesian Inference [14]
 Books [15]
 Business Models [24]
 Causal Inference [2]
 Creativity [7]
 Decision Making [15]
 Decision Trees [8]
 Design [37]
 Eco-Green [4]
 Economics [12]
 Education [11]
 Energy [0]
 Entrepreneurship [61]
 Events [2]
 Farming [20]
 Finance [25]
 Future [15]
 Growth [18]
 Investing [24]
 Lean Startup [10]
 Leisure [5]
 Lens Model [9]
 Making [1]
 Management [9]
 Motivation [3]
 Nature [22]
 Patents & Trademarks [1]
 Permaculture [34]
 Psychology [1]
 Real Estate [2]
 Robots [1]
 Selling [11]
 Site News [15]
 Startups [12]
 Statistics [3]
 Systems Thinking [3]
 Trends [7]
 Useful Links [3]
 Valuation [1]
 Venture Capital [5]
 Video [2]
 Writing [2]