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decision makingMaking choices. The proper balance of human and machine decision making is an important part of a system's design.
Human Decision Making Is Complex
It is easy to think of automating tasks traditionally performed by people, but it is not that easy to analyze how decisions are made by an experienced, intuitive worker. If an improper analysis of human decision making is made, the wrong decision making may be placed into the machine, which can get buried in documentation that is rarely reviewed. This will become a critical issue as artificial intelligence applications proliferate. See AI.
Algorithmic or Heuristic
From a programming point of view, decision making is performed two ways: algorithmic, a precise set of rules and conditions that never change, or heuristic, a set of rules that may change over time (self-modify) as conditions occur. Heuristic techniques are employed in AI systems.
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decision makingthe processes by which individuals, or groups and organizations, decide actions or determine policies. Obviously, decision making covers a wide area, involving virtually the whole of human action. Sociologists, psychologists and political scientists, among others, have been interested in decision making in different ways, though there are overlapping interests. These perspectives include: formal analysis of the decision strategies of actors in competitive situations (as in THEORY OF GAMES, and in approaches derived from Economics, e.g. see EXCHANGE THEORY); analysis of decision-making behaviour in the dynamics of small groups (see GROUP DYNAMICS); studies of organizations (see ORGANIZATION THEORY); studies of access to political decision-making (see COMMUNITY POWER).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000