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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