Decision Tree Software & Decision Flowcharts
Decision Tree Flowchart Software
VisiRule is AI-enabled diagramming software for business professionals to create decision tree decision flowchart software solutions. VisiRule can be used to capture both specialist knowledge from human experts and rules derived from historical data using Machine Learning algorithms.
VisiRule converts this knowledge into interactive and embedded self-service decision tree flowchart code delivered as Expert System Software solutions.
Low Code No Code
VisiRule does NOT require programming skills. Experts can express decision tree logic using a simple drag and drop interface. VisiRule Publisher automatically creates web-based questionnaires to gather the facts. Once completed, VisiRule gives its conclusions, advice, guidance, plus any reports, documents, checklists and schedules required.
VisiRule combines the best elements of executable flowcharts with convergent decision tree software in one single package. VisiRule supports the visual structuring of logic, boolean and set functions plus mathematical formulae, functions and algorithms. This helps with 3 areas of complexity:
conditional asking of questions (branching)
application of logic-based rules to the answers (logical deduction)
generation of complex reports and documents (output configuration)
Flow Charts Decision Trees Software
Normal flow chart software often imposes a number of pre-defined shapes, with special meanings, which can be confusing.
Conventional software for decision tree construction tends to have separate branches which diverge rapidly and focus on calculating some expected value (EV) based on probabilities and utility functions for each separate branch.
Standard survey tools struggle to manage and maintain structural and logical complexity and lack the ability to explain the reasoning process.
Decision Tree Software with Flow Chart Execution
VisiRule combines decision tree software with a decision flowchart tool.. The result is powerful software for decision tree modelling with support for process execution. Decision graphs provide an excellent way to structure Intelligent AI Chatbots. Decision Tree flowcharts are also well suited to implementing fault-finding diagnostic systems.
How Does VisiRule Work?
Author Creates a Decision Flow Chart
Using VisiRule Author, the author create a decision tree flowchart from historical data and/or expert knowledge consisting of questions, expressions, statements, code and conclusions
Author uses Upload&Publish to publish the Decision Flow Chart on the Web
VisiRule generates a web-based questionnaire from the chart or delivers an embedded component
Users Answer Questions
As users or data sets answer questions, VisiRule evaluates the expressions, determines the next question and creates the next web page to be asked
VisiRule Server Generates Conclusions and Documents
At the end of each user session, VisiRule reports its findings, makes recommendations, and generates any required output documents.
VisiRule Analytics provides usage up-to-date statistics and insight into how charts are being used, which questions are being asked, how they are being answered and how they relate to individual conclusions reached.
Managing Complexity with Decision Tree Flowcharts
VisiRule offers a powerful combination of ways to help manage complexity
visual structuring of logic
logical expression evaluator for both simple and compound logic
powerful mathematical expression evaluator for complex formulae
programming code and scripts for set handling, text analysis
VisiRule Advantages over Decision Trees Software
VisiRule charts are not simple decision trees. They are directed acyclic graphs. DAGs offer a highly compact and efficient representation with minimal redundancy. Decision Graphs are far more powerful than decision trees as you can merge separate branches. This helps overcome the traditional problem of exponential growth which comes from the inherent divergence of decision trees. With most software for decision tree construction, after just a few levels of questions with a few options, you can have hundreds of branches to manage. With expert systems, we often have many questions and answers, but just a few outcomes or conclusions. This requires convergence.
Convergence in Decision Trees as Decision Graphs
Whereas standard software for decision tree construction restricts nodes to having a single parent, VisiRule allows nodes to have multiple parents. This is called convergence. Why is this so helpful? Firstly, convergence decreases the number of nodes and, secondly, convergence reduces the amount of unhelpful duplication. This ability to merge divergent branches means that the resulting diagram is easier to manage and maintain. Its like a family tree where a) marriages can occur between more than two people and b) cousins, aunts, uncles and even siblings can marry!
Advantages of Software for Decision Tree Flowcharts
Decision flowcharts and decision trees are graphical representations of processes and offer a number of advantages:
You can present and explain a decision-making process often on a single page
A picture is worth a thousand words. They are compact and concise. You can explain a complicated, structured process with multiple routes to diverse conclusions with a single page chart rather than a long document. Trying to represent nested complexity using text or decision tables is both clumsy and confusing.
You can standardize and automate the process
Once a decision flowchart exists, everyone who needs to make that decision can do so in the same way and in a shorter space of time. This is a precursor to automation. Self-service systems can compute answers instantly.
You can see missing decision points
Just the task of documenting a process lets you see where bits are missing. In addition, VisiRule can produce an exhaustive truth table which helps identify gaps and spot inconsistencies in the given logic.
You avoid having staff as a single point of failure
By taking human participation out of the decision-making process, you ensure good decisions are taken regardless of which people are or are not available at any point in time.
Read more about the role of flowcharts in How to Simplify Decision Making With Flowcharts.
Read more about the role of decision trees in An Intro to Logic Trees and Structured Programming.
Read an interesting introduction to Decision Trees in Decision Trees — An Intuitive Introduction
Decision Tree Layout Matters!
VisiRule lets you decide how to lay out your charts. The VisiRule author has total control over the relative size and position of each node and which fields are visible. This means you can preserve existing designs, which usually took a lot of time and effort to 'shape'.
You can provide a view of the chart at run-time to help people navigate their way thru the questionnaire. So when users stray down the wrong branch, get asked the wrong questions, they can, by inspecting the diagram, go back up to where they took a wrong turn, and change their mind. Just like a road map!
VisiRule Flowchart Path-finding - just like Google Maps
In VisiRule, the author builds a chart by drawing a sequence of connected questions plus associated tests to be performed. Logical and mathematical expressions determine which branch is followed next. VisiRule's path-finding engine will look for a route between the entry node and a conclusion by evaluating the questions on the path.
In this way, a VisiRule chart is like a Google map and shows the possible routes between start and end nodes. Except with VisiRule the 'towns' to be visited are either askable questions or computable calculations. On leaving a 'town', there is a test to see which way to go visit next. The eventual route that connects the start node to the final conclusion forms a connected decision path, and provides a complete logical explainable trail of the journey.
Flow Chart Decision Tree Questions
Single Choice Questions
Simple single-choice questions have two or more mutually exclusive options such as Yes/No, Male/Female or Hot/Medium/Cold or French/Spanish/Italian/Other. These values are extracted from the expressions which relate to the question to build the questionnaire.
Each option typically has a branch associated with it and a logic test such as "? Question = Yes" (which can be shortened to "= Yes" or "Yes").
Yes No Decision Tree Solutions
Single choice questions can be used on their own to build say simple Yes No Decision Tree solutions. With just a few binary questions, you can cover a lot of possible outcomes.
Flow Chart Convergence
Different branches can lead to the same next question (this is called 'convergence') or indeed to the same conclusion. This allows divergent branches to be brought back together and helps manage the complexity of the model. This takes us from simple Yes No Decision Tree solutions to Yes No Decision Graph solutions.
Multi-Choice Questions (i.e. more than one answer)
Multi-choice questions present multiple non-exclusive options say "Eating, Drinking, Walking, Swimming". The user selects any number of items. Multi-choice, or multiple response, questions are like asking a whole collection of single choice questions all at once. In some cases, what happens next is not dependent on how many items nor which items are chosen. The choices may just affect the final conclusion or document text. But sometimes, the choices have a direct bearing on which questions and which logic branch is to be explored next. VisiRule provides a powerful set language to test for partial inclusions and exclusions of items and combinations of items. This is vital in being able to manage the combinatorial explosion associated with larger answer sets. For instance, if there are 8 items, the number of different triples is 336.
For both single and multi-choice questions, VisiRule 'harvests' the values by looking inside every relevant expression, and automatically constructs the menus containing all the items referenced. This reduces the potential for simple typographical errors and also saves a lot of typing.
Number and text input have their own question types and expressions. Simple or complex mathematical tests check numerical input. Open-ended text can be parsed, analysed and recorded using the wide range of text-oriented routines available.
VisiRule provides a powerful expression language to evaluate answers. Expressions can range from simple tests such as "Age > 21" or "Status = Married" to more complex tests such as "Residence < [House, Flat] and Value > 100K".
Answers to questions are generally evaluated immediately but can be 'deferred' till later. Being able to refer backwards to questions by name means you can ask questions when you want them to be asked, and use the answers later.
Big Data & Software for Decision Graph Automation
Some answers can be found in existing records. To support this, VisiRule can extract data from existing databases, spreadsheets, sensors etc to answer the questions.
Executable Decision Tree Software & Flowcharts
Flowcharts have been around for almost 100 years now and provide a well-proven way of presenting process flow using structured diagrams. By using flowcharts, VisiRule can present complex logic in a simple and concise way without the need for technical programmers. Most business users are familiar with cognitive diagrams thanks to tools such as Visio, MindMap, SmartDraw etc.
EDraw have an excellent page which explains the process of how to create decision flow charts or decision tree flow charts for decision making.
VisiRule builds on this and ensures that decision flow chart diagrams are not just informative, passive pictures, but are active, executable flow chart diagrams; i.e. they can generate executable code in the form of expert systems which can be deployed both as interactive and embedded applications.
VisiRule’s approach of "programming via flow-charting” permits rapid prototyping and review, and greatly enhances the qualitative capture and shared understanding of decision making. Using a combination of shapes, text, and lines, a VisiRule chart is simple to create and easy to understand. As Wikipedia states: "it is easier for many to read and understand". Structured diagrams provide a powerful way of organizing and communicating ideas and thoughts. A good visual representation supports transparency, consistency and ease of maintenance.
VisiRule is part of 'Decision Engineering' and 'Enterprise Decision Management', and reflects the growing move towards using graphical tools to help manage the complexity and volume of information found in today's Big Data world.
This trend can be seen in the popularity of MindMap and Visio, where using an interactive graphical tool helps clarify and improve users' understanding of the subject matter. The very act of mapping out a decision-making process forces people to consider and agree on a sequence of steps and logic used to make a decision.
Decision Visualization & Analytics
Each visitor leaves a footprint of their visit, the path they took, the answers used, rules fired and the conclusion reached. VisiRule Analytics collects these. You can visualize and analyze this data to gain insight into a chart's performance, and get suggestions for how to improve it based on actual usage.