Decision Support Systems
Human reasoning and decision making can exhibit various shortcomings when compared with prescriptive theories derived from mathematical logic and statistical decision making. Since effective decision making is central to many important human activities there is much interest in developing technologies to support medical, business, and other decision processes. One school of thought argues that these systems must be based on prescriptive axioms of decision making since to do otherwise leads inevitably to irrational choices. Others argue that practical decision making demands certain tradeoffs and a failure to make those tradeoffs would itself be irrational. Indeed, some claim that there is no one correct model for reasoning and decision making. Different representations and techniques are needed for different purposes and the designers of decision support technologies have much to learn from the robustness and flexibility of human decision processes.