IN ANY business a range of mathematical tools can be used to solve problems and help make decisions. Decision Maker for the 48K Spectrum is one such tool.
It is designed to give an understanding of the concepts of decision analysis, and then to allow those concepts to be put into practice.
Decision analysis is a technique used for solving problems in which decisions have to be made. It involves constructing a diagram showing the outcome of each decision and its relationship to the original decision.
The package consists of a teaching cassette, an applications cassette and a manual. Only one of the 12 chapters is devoted to running the applications program. That one chapter is the driest of them all.
The teaching cassette contains 10 programs, each designed to be used in conjunction with a chapter of the manual.
Each program deals with a particular aspect and usually includes a selection of multiple choice questions at the end. Before you move onto the next program an analysis of your performance is displayed with the option of running through the questions again. At times the questions repeat themselves with monotonous regularity.
The applications program allows you to build up a decision tree, starting from a first decision. At each decision the number of outcomes is entered, followed by the name, value and, if it is subject to chance, the probability for each outcome in turn.
The tree has a maximum of 150 decisions and five outcomes for each decision. A useful feature - chain - allows part of the structure to be repeated without retyping. The whole tree, minus details, can be shown on the screen. An excellent range of editing facilities allows the data to be changed at almost any stage.
As you are unable to examine any decision other than the first from the main menu detailed study becomes tedious. Unless you are extremely adept at analysing the structure of those problems in your head, you need to outline the tree on paper before entering the details. Fortunately, the speed of the calculations for even a medium-size tree makes it worthwhile.
Publisher: Collins Soft, 8 Grafton Street. London W1X 3LA