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System and Method for Managing Ranges of Values in Decision Making

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201730D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A system and method for managing range criteria when making decisions

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System and Method for Managing Ranges of Values in Decision Making

Disclosed is a method to visualize and manipulate ranges, and the application of ranges to complex decision making problems.

There are many situations in which a person needs to take an action upon observing whether a criterion or score falls within a certain range of values. For example, a doctor in a hospital may need to trigger emergency treatment if a patient's vital signs move outside acceptable ranges. A teacher may need to assign students letter grades based on the range of test scores on a subject. A business manager may need to invest a large amount of money in projects whose expected gains are `sufficiently' promising and risk sufficiently low.

While some of these decision making situations are relatively easy and require just the choice of a suitable threshold or range of scores as the basis for action, many are much more complex. For example, in the medical situation, the choice of treatment may depend not just on a particular vital sign exceeding a preset threshold, but on a combination of vital signs and patient characteristics (such as age and weight) being simultaneously in specific ranges. In the business example, not only are there multiple criteria representing differing priorities, risk and returns, but it is usually not clear how the thresholds should be set to trigger investment, and the decision maker may need to experiment with different thresholds or ranges as triggers for investment.

One common example of the latter situation occurs when business managers need to categorize potential areas in their business for investment such as High, Medium and Low priority for investment. In such situations, the decision maker has to interactively experiment with all the criteria describing the prioritization factors for investment potential, setting various ranges and classification rules in order to generate a satisfactory prioritization of investments. Not only must the resulting specification of ranges and business logic be good enough to reflect the decision maker's desired investment behavior, but there may be other logical rules that must also be obeyed, e.g., the criteria must trigger a unique action for every range, and every range must have a nonempty set of actions associated with it.

The pr...