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# Recursive Decision Table Translator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000076965D
Original Publication Date: 1972-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-24
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

IBM

## Related People

Sharman, GCH: AUTHOR

## Abstract

Intuitive methods for producing structured limited entry decision tables by hand are known. These tables have a `true' structure which allows procedural logic to be clearly and concisely displayed. This structure can be formalized by defining a `parsing technique' for dividing such a table into a pair of smaller tables, known as `subtables'. This technique leads to a simple algorithm for translating a decision table into a narrative procedure. It can also be shown that the resulting procedure is optimal in many cases.

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Recursive Decision Table Translator

Intuitive methods for producing structured limited entry decision tables by hand are known. These tables have a `true' structure which allows procedural logic to be clearly and concisely displayed. This structure can be formalized by defining a `parsing technique' for dividing such a table into a pair of smaller tables, known as `subtables'. This technique leads to a simple algorithm for translating a decision table into a narrative procedure. It can also be shown that the resulting procedure is optimal in many cases.

A structured decision table is illustrated in Fig. 1 with a single-parsing operation applied to it. The first row of the condition entry has been arranged so that all the `Y' entries are grouped together and followed by all the `N' entries. The parsing operation consists of finding the boundary between `Y' and `N' entries. The top row is then removed from the table and the remaining rows are divided into two subtables using this boundary. The parsing operation corresponds to a branch point in a flow chart with `yes' and `no' exits as illustrated in Fig. 2.

The parsing operation may also be applied to each of the subtables, and thus the tree structure is recursive. A convention is introduced that the left-hand subtable is parsed before the right-hand subtable. The operation may be successively applied until all the condition rows have been parsed. At this point the resulting subtable is a simple column of actions,...