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Fuzzy decision trees

Beynon, Malcolm James ORCID: 2009. Fuzzy decision trees. Dopico, Juan Ramón Rabuñal, Dorado, Julian and Pazos, Alejandro, eds. Encyclopedia of artificial intelligence, Hershey, PA.: IGI Global, pp. 696-703. (10.4018/978-1-59904-849-9)

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The inductive learning methodology known as decision trees, concerns the ability to classify objects based on their attributes values, using a tree like structure from which decision rules can be accrued. In this article, a description of decision trees is given, with the main emphasis on their operation in a fuzzy environment. A first reference to decision trees is made in Hunt et al. (1966), who proposed the Concept learning system to construct a decision tree that attempts to minimize the score of classifying chess endgames. The example problem concerning chess offers early evidence supporting the view that decision trees are closely associated with artificial intelligence (AI). It is over ten years later that Quinlan (1979) developed the early work on decision trees, to introduced the Interactive Dichotomizer 3 (ID3). The important feature with their development was the use of an entropy measure to aid the decision tree construction process (using again the chess game as the considered problem). It is ID3, and techniques like it, that defines the hierarchical structure commonly associated with decision trees, see for example the recent theoretical and application studies of Pal and Chakraborty (2001), Bhatt and Gopal (2005) and Armand et al. (2007). Moreover, starting from an identified root node, paths are constructed down to leaf nodes, where the attributes associated with the intermediate nodes are identified through the use of an entropy measure to preferentially gauge the classification certainty down that path. Each path down to a leaf node forms an ‘if .. then ..’ decision rule used to classify the objects. The introduction of fuzzy set theory in Zadeh (1965), offered a general methodology that allows notions of vagueness and imprecision to be considered. Moreover, Zadeh’s work allowed the possibility for previously defined techniques to be considered with a fuzzy environment. It was over ten years later that the area of decision trees benefited from this fuzzy environment opportunity (see Chang and Pavlidis, 1977). Since then there has been a steady stream of research studies that have developed or applied fuzzy decision trees (FDTs) (see recently for example Li et al., 2006 and Wang et al., 2007). The expectations that come with the utilisation of FDTs are succinctly stated by Li et al. (2006, p. 655); “Decision trees based on fuzzy set theory combines the advantages of good comprehensibility of decision trees and the ability of fuzzy representation to deal with inexact and uncertain information.” Chiang and Hsu (2002) highlight that decision trees has been successfully applied to problems in artificial intelligence, pattern recognition and statistics. They go onto outline a positive development the FDTs offer, namely that it is better placed to have an estimate of the degree that an object is associated with each class, often desirable in areas like medical diagnosis (see Quinlan (1987) for the alternative view with respect to crisp decision trees). The remains of this article look in more details at FDTs, including a tutorial example showing the rudiments of how an FDT can be constructed.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Additional Information: 3 Volumes
Publisher: IGI Global
ISBN: 9781599048499
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:20

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