decision tree


Definition of decision tree

: a tree diagram which is used for making decisions in business or computer programming and in which the branches represent choices with associated risks, costs, results, or probabilities

Examples of decision tree in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Uber’s safety guidelines end up looking like a cross between a checklist and a decision tree, with each item flowing from that premise that its vehicles are safe to drive on public roads. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Uber made a blueprint for safe self-driving cars it wants the rest of the industry to follow," 18 July 2019 The resulting algorithm defines a decision tree capable of accurately sorting the viruses into the proper group — human or swine. Quanta Magazine, "Decoding Flu Viruses Before an Outbreak," 29 Aug. 2013 Ben-Tal said this specific approach, called an alternating decision tree algorithm, is standard in machine learning but had rarely been applied to biological data before his team’s study. Quanta Magazine, "Decoding Flu Viruses Before an Outbreak," 29 Aug. 2013 Attracted by what looked at first like an easy bargain, neither player looked down the decision tree to the end. Lee Drutman, Vox, "The “dollar auction” theory can help explain the Kavanaugh chaos," 3 Oct. 2018 But the decision tree of what to say when is the complicated part. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Google's Duplex AI Proves Its Powers and Limitations," 28 June 2018 The system follows a gnarled decision tree to maximize efficiency. Eric Adams, WIRED, "The Crazy, Complicated Engineering Inside Honda's New Clarity Hybrid," 27 Apr. 2018 The site relies on the same algorithm that doctors use in traveling down a symptom decision tree with patients to come up with a diagnosis, but provides the results in a more consumer-friendly way. Alice Park, Time, "Should You Diagnose Yourself Online? Here’s What Doctors Think," 10 Apr. 2018 The writing and branching decision trees are definitely engaging. Charles Theel, Ars Technica, "Fallout: The Board Game," 13 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decision tree.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of decision tree

1957, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

28 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for decision tree

The first known use of decision tree was in 1957

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decision tree Encyclopedia article about decision tree

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to spread over or through

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