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School League Tables

posted Sep 17, 2009, 4:57 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 4:59 AM by Eddie Woo ]

Mastery Test Questions

posted Aug 10, 2009, 4:19 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Aug 10, 2009, 4:31 PM by Eddie Woo ]

23. Who is responsible for decisions made using DSSs? Explain your answer
The human that makes the decision to use a DSS, a DSS assists in making a decision but it is ultimately the decisions of its user to make the final decision.
24. Summarise the process of building a DSS that involves an expert system. List the people involved and describe their roles.
27. Explain the role of input weights or "fuzzy logic" in artificial neural networks. What advantages does this give them over conventional systems?

DSS and Processing

posted Jul 29, 2009, 8:46 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 30, 2009, 6:10 PM by Eddie Woo ]

Recall that processing refers to any method by which data can be manipulated in different ways to produce a new value or result. Under this definition, every calculation, inference and judgement made by a decision support system falls under the category of processing.

In a classwork post, answer the following questions:

1. A device like a video camera is primarily a collecting device; however, designers have found it useful to incorporate other processes into it for convenience (e.g. storing and retrieving). Collecting is the central process, while the others are peripheral. Explain why processing is the central process of decision support.
The main purpose of a decision support system is to provide a purpose or a kind of valued judgement to data that is entered as an input, this will normally result in new data that provides alternate solutions and decisions, the alternate solutions being new data themselves, this being the main aspect of a DSS.The creation of new data and information will help the system and end user to contrast the many alternatives and if the sytem is not able to do this effectively then it is redundant and useless.

HSC Electives

English (3U, 4U)
    Ancient History
    Modern History
    History Extension
    Japanese (B,C)
Maths (2U, 3U, 4U)
Visual Arts

2. Describe a shell and outline the reasons why programmers might include one in their decision support system.
A shell encases all the inner workings of a system. A shell is used in most cases to inhibit the user to see how the system functions as this may confuse and overwhelm them. An end user is also most probably not interested in this rather they would have the system provide them with the output they are after. 
3. Contrast the decision support that is provided by (a) a spreadsheet with (b) an inference engine
An inference engine allows the DSS to choose the which rules to apply to specific caluclulations and procedures, a spreadhseet is unable to do this. A spreadsheet can only use forward chaining as well , it is unable to find results for the particular desired result, it must have the data first to reach a result. 
4. With regard to forward chaining and backward chaining:
    (a) Outline each of the processes. 
Forward - conclusion and alternate results can only be inferred if raw data was already apparent 
Backward - desired outcomes can be used in the initial stage in order for the system to possess an understanding of the type of data results required from the input of raw data
    (b) For each, identify two examples where it would be suitable where its counterpart would not be.
Forward - In a monthly report of weekly spendings for a household, if raw data of particular spendings are not added then a user cannot make decisions about next month and their current financial status. 
- When using a database to find information on potential new homes for your family, without submitting details about your cost bracket, the number of people in the family, the DSS system would yield results that are inefficient and does not effectively process any data.
Backward - When buying a new dog, you know that is must be small and less active, from these requirements you are able to find a dog that is suited.
When a  
    (c) On the right is a table of all the HSC electives that can be chosen in years 11 and 12. Use both forward and backward chaining to come up with a list of alternative solutions for the subjects you will choose for next year, and thoroughly document the process


posted Jul 27, 2009, 4:45 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 27, 2009, 4:46 PM by Eddie Woo ]

Exam Revision

posted Jul 1, 2009, 6:00 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 1, 2009, 6:01 AM by Eddie Woo ]

Oh goes

Sample questions

posted Jun 18, 2009, 5:31 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 20, 2009, 5:32 AM by Eddie Woo ]

  1. Describe situations in which each of the major network topologies would be the most appropriate.
Point to Point - in a circumstance that consists of an airforce pilot trying to send secret information back to his headquarters, a point to point network would be ideal as it allows security of data, fast relay of the information and the fact that information does not have to be carried by a lot of mediums means that it is less likely to be interfered with.
Mesh - a situation where a mesh topography would be benefitial is in a company consisting of a Project Management Group who have equal responsibilities within the assigned project, transmission of data is fast and inteference from other mediums is most unlikely. The LAN would be situated within an office, wiring would not be a problem. Each node within the network is able to be connected to every other node, the added redundancy of links allows data to be sent to the desired links efficiently. The Project Management Group will benefit from such a topology as continual updates and communication can occur all the time.
 Heirarchial - a heirarchial topology is benefitial in a workoffice environment where levels of access differ, a project manager is given full access to transmissions of information between databases of the many departments within the office whereas a member of the marketing department may be limited to viewing databases concerning profit margins and popularity of products. Security is enhanced and communication between nodes is limited to the neighbouring nodes, therefore members of departments may be able to communicate to eachother but not to the project manager.
Ring - a ring network is ideal in a circumstance where many researchers are using workstations to research documents concerning their further reseearch upon cancer, a node is connected to its neighbours and relay of information is quick though it may have to be transported through many nodes before it reaches its destination though in such a a case it does not matter as each researcher is entitled to read the transmitted info, security is not a problem.
Star - in situations where a central hub/switch/router is uselful is in the environemnt of a home, nodes are able to communicate with servers which allows processes such as printing and accessing the internet can occur. Data can be realyed between the terminals and servers efficently and of one connectionbecomes faulty all connections are not harmed.
Bus - a bus topology is compatible with a situation such as a school computer room, computers are able to send data to eachother, allowing students to interact and share information when doing a project, a server can be included to allow printing and managing files.
Converting a large organisation's information system from a wired infrastructure to a wireless infrastructure is a costly exercise. Identify specific costs involved and justify the conversion in spite of the cost.
Specific costs include the removal of wires and other physical equipment, this can be expensive as they may be behind walls and under the floor, the complexity of the wiring may lead to expensive removal methods.
The conversion allows connections between networks to be wireless, minimising an environment of clutter. The amount of information that can be sent is increased and the protocols as to how nodes will interact can become compatible with all the computers regardless of their topologies. An internet connection is also acessible when a node is on the move, it can be physically moved without loss of connection. The cost of maintaning faulty cables and routers is also greatly minimised.
The internet used to be called "cyberspace", which alluded to the fact that things and people on the internet inhabited another world and had no relation to the real world. This is simply no longer the case. Discuss this reality with reference to real events that have been changed or made possible only by the use of the internet.
The use of the internet is very much linked to reality as banking transactions and buying commodities can occur on the Internet. E-commerce has become a major industry and has simplified the idea of buying products without leaving home. Telecommuting has also revolutionised the idea of working from home, workers being able to experience flexibility with their work hours. The internet has allowed people to be aware of circumstances across the world almost instantaneously, knowledge about the situations of the world has greatly increased through media methods in the Internet. The Internet deals with real companies and people advertising their businesses and merchandise over the internet, it has become a marketing tool. The internet is very much in sync with reality as it allows people to buy and sell goods, acess real information to gain knowledge as well as revolutionise the working environment.

DSS Types

posted Jun 10, 2009, 5:15 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 11, 2009, 6:19 AM by Eddie Woo ]

  1. Spreadsheets
      (a) Describe the kinds of analysis supported by a spreadsheet.
Types of analysis that can be supported by a spreadsheet are primarily numerical as it normally analyses and organises figures that can be manually inserted or scanned. Numerical data is normally calculated and manipulated to assist in concluding with a decision. 
What if analysis is also supported by a spreadsheet as it can change specific variables in order to fixate a result that may not be realistic or simulated.
Goal seeking analysis is changing faactors in accordance wiith a set goal that you have instructed. A spreadsheet can allow you to view the needed factors to seek the goal.
 (b) Identify one example each of situations/decisions that would be supported (i) effectively by a spreadsheet or (ii) ineffectively by a spreadsheet.
i) keeping a weekly record of materials that are sold within a small shop, a weekly record will keep the spreadsheet limited in size and comparisons can be seen on a monthly basis or every 3 months. This can help view patterns nad trends and assist the owners with making future decisions.
ii) a spreadsheet would not be compatible with a circumstance that may include a person choosing what clothes to wear on a specific day from their extensive wardrobe. Numarical data does not take into account personal choices and personal factors, therefore a spreadsheet whould not be useful in this circumstance.


  1. Databases
      Explain how a relational database can support decision-making in a way that a spreadsheet cannot.

Relational databases allow multiple data sources to be able to be analysed and drawn upon when creating a solution, as opposed to a spreadsheet. The complexity of such a database as opposed to that of a spreadsheet allows extensive speed when creating a solution as well as easier access, all data being stored on the one file instead of many spreadsheets scattered on the desktop. Looking for data that is also specific to your problem is accessed with more ease in a realtional database through the use of SQL queries, this is not the case with spreadsheets as they are not normally as extensive and all the data is present in the one file. Data in a relational database is also linked, with similar information being found quicker than manually reading every record on a spreadsheet.

  1. Expert Systems
      (a) Identify the aspects of human intelligence that are imitated by artificial intelligence (AI).
      (b) Outline some of the difficulties in designing and implementing an AI-based DSS.
      (c) Carefully read the infobox on p193. For the four examples provided, describe the benefits and limitations of the AI-based DSS in each case.
      (d) Account for why expert systems would be designed to be domain-specific.

  2. Neural Networks
       (a) Identify the basic concept that neural networks are based upon. Propose arguments for and against the use of this particular concept as the model of a computer-based information system.
       (b) Neural networks and expert systems are both designed by human software engineers. Contrast the relationships between these two decision support systems and their designers.
       (c) A neural network's designer is often incapable of providing an explanation for the decisions made by the network as a whole. Explain how this can be the case.
       (d) Compare the characteristics of parallel processing systems and neural networks

The Structure Continuum

posted Jun 8, 2009, 3:22 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 10, 2009, 5:21 PM by Eddie Woo ]

  Structured  Unstructured
Inputs & Issues 
 Inputs are comprehensively defined in detail...
eg. building a shed you bought from IKEA
 Inputs are unknown and stable, they are constantly fluctuating...
eg. the population in 200 years
 Accurately predictable
eg. predicting the path of a meteor
 Highly chaotic
eg. how much a pound will be worth in 20 years according to the Australian dollar
Result Comparison    
Relation to DSS    

Decision Making

posted Jun 3, 2009, 9:23 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 4, 2009, 6:10 PM by Eddie Woo ]

In a classwork post, identify the information processes that are most closely associated with each of the stages in Simon's model of decision-making and demonstrate why these are particularly relevant.
1. Intelligence - Collecting and analysing
Intelligence is a form of collecting as the data upon which a decision is going to be made must be collected from sources for the alternative decisions, the sources will be based upon the factors that cause a solution.
Intelligence is a form of analysing as the data that is collected must have a meaning and a purpose, in the case of a decision making, it must have something to do with factors that cause a problem and a solution. If the data collected has nothing to do with the problem, then it can be classified as redundant and useless.
2. Design - Processing
Design incorporates the process of processing as you are now able to manipulate the data to suit the needs of creating alternative decisions. A decision will be based on the collected data as well as being influenced by the initial problem, this data cannot be raw and must be changed in order to suit the output format, hence this is the process of processing.

Outline how the three-stage procedure might unfold in practical terms within the context of THREE of the following scenarios:

1. Organising a surprise birthday party for a friend
Intelligence -
Timing of the party will depend upon when the invited people are free, who to invite, when the party will be held, where it will be held, what the menu will consist of, what to get the friend, who will manage the surprise, catering choices, who will make the invitations and how will the invitations be transferred to the recipients
Design -
a) The party will be held on the weekend and only very close friends will be invited, catering will be that every one invited will bring a dish. Invitations will be through the phone and a new mobile will be the present. The menu will be Spanish food and everyone will pull their weight to manage the surprise.
b) The party will be held on a Friday night, catering will be done by the local restaraunt which is Chinese. Invitations will be through mail and money will be the gift. The surprise management will be done by the birthday person's best friend.
c) The party will be on a Monday night and the catering will be done by the birathday person's mother which will be assorted English. Invitations will be through email and the gift will be a holiday to the Great Barrier Reef. The management will be between the mother and the invited people.
Choice -
Situation a) seems the most plausible and realistically successful situation. The intelliegence factors are satisfactory and everyone included fairly. the surprise party is most likelt tot be a surprise in this choice than any other.
2. Planning a holiday outing with friends
Intelligence -
Where to go, When to go, How much you will pay for the holiday, How many days you will go for a holiday, Which friends will be coming, Which travel agent will you use, What deal will you accept.
Design -
a) The friends agree on The Bahamas and they will go throuv

3. Cooking a special meal for your family

Goals of a DSS

posted Jun 3, 2009, 3:27 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 3, 2009, 8:55 PM by Eddie Woo ]

Interacts with actual problems - this is the ability for the system to handle situations which do not incorporate straight and simple answers. A real life problem must evaluate many variables and unknown cirsumstances, the vast amount of information should be able to be analysed efficiently. This may lead to a lot if different deciisions being made concerning the problem, this is when the human interaction with the system may lead to the final implementation of the solution.
Incorporates data  - the decision support system must be able to incorporate data from many sources as well as handle all of the data simultaneously. Making a decision requires data to be founded in more than one area, considering all the variables. The system must be able to make an effecive decision that is able to embody all factors that are raised, the input is data and the output is data, if the system cannot effectively manipulate the data then the system is sure to fail.

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