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Decision theory

Last updated Sep 7, 2022 Edit Source

Choices by one agent in which background conditions are independent of what other agents are doing. We usually represent these decisions with a decision matrix or decision table

Relatived view of Decision theory:

Prescriptions in decision theory are always relative to the formal problem specifications

See also: causal decision theory

e.g. Pascal’s Wager

God exists God does not exist
Believe Infinite reward Status quo
Don’t believe Infinite loss Status quo


Decision tables

  1. Art: providing a good formalization of a decision into a table
  2. providing a justified recommendation based off of the formalization

They can also be represented using decision trees

We can transform decision tables between each other using “reasonable transformations”

  1. PIR: assign equal probabilities to all states (if we have no knowledge of probabilities, aka DUI)
  2. Merger: if two states yield identical columns, then we can merge them into one state and add probabilities if we know them