Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
Decision tree analysis is a technique for building classification models for predicting classes for unseen entities.
Decision trees have been around for a long time as a mechanism for structuring a series of questions and choosing the next question to ask on the basis of the answer to the previous question. In data mining we commonly identify decision trees as the knowledge representation scheme targeted by the family of techniques originating from ID3 in 1979.
As a classification technique decision tree analysis generates decision trees for discrete value classification. The variables can be either continuous or categorical.
A decision tree has the traditional computer science structure of a tree, having a single root node and multiple arcs emanating from the node to connect to other nodes.