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By Bernard Moret, Henry D. Shapiro

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Additional info for Algorithms from P to NP, Vol. I: Design and Efficiency

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In the 1970s there began to arise within enterprises increasingly complex needs to devise software applications, called management information systems (MIS), in order to ease access to useful and timely information for decision makers. However, attempts to develop such systems were hampered by the state of information technologies at the time. The mainframe computers of those days lacked graphic visualization capabilities, and communicated with users through character-based computer terminals and dot printers.

6. According to their nature, decisions can be classified as structured , unstructured or semi-structured . Structured decisions. A decision is structured if it is based on a well-defined and recurring decision-making procedure. In most cases structured decisions can be traced back to an algorithm, which may be more or less explicit for decision makers, and are therefore better suited for automation. More specifically, we have a structured decision if input flows, output flows and the transformations performed by the system can be clearly described in the three phases of intelligence, design and choice.

The dynamics in which an enterprise operates, strongly affected by the pressure of a competitive environment, imply that knowledge workers need to address situations and make decisions quickly and in a timely fashion. 3 Types of decisions Defining a taxonomy of decisions may prove useful during the design of a DSS, since it is likely that decision-making processes with similar characteristics may be supported by the same set of methodologies. Decisions can be classified in terms of two main dimensions, according to their nature and scope.

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