A wide range of disciplines makes use of decision trees. For example, you will find decision trees used in medical diagnosis, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, game theory, engineering, and data mining. Despite this trend there are few concise, clear introductions to basic decision tree concepts are available online. The present work attempts to meet that need by offering a concise online primer for novices.


I gratefully acknowledge Meryl Natches, CEO of TechProse, for invaluable editing, guidance, and patience. I also thank the Technical Communication 1 class participants at UC Berkeley Extension during the spring semester 2007 for review and comments.

Rosana Francescato tested the material for clarity and provided helpful feedback in the development of this project.

CJ Kalin, Ph.D., introduced me to the decision tree method in a Project Risk Management class at UC Berkeley Extension. Her real-world examples demonstrated how the decision trees technique helps solve complex project management problems.

Despite the aforementioned contributions I accept responsibility for any errors or omissions herein.
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Rev. 5.1b, 04/06/07

© 2007, Rafael Olivas