An Anytime Algorithm for Decision Making under Uncertainty

Michael C. Horsch and David Poole

In Proc. 14th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-98), Madison, Wisconsin, USA, July 1998, pages 246-255.


We present an anytime algorithm which computes policies for decision problems represented as multi-stage influence diagrams. Our algorithm constructs policies incrementally, starting from a policy which makes no use of the available information. The incremental process constructs policies which includes more of the information available to the decision maker at each step. While the process converges to the optimal policy, our approach is designed for situations in which computing the optimal policy is infeasible. We provide examples of the process on several large decision problems, showing that, for these examples, the process constructs valuable (but sub-optimal) policies before the optimal policy would be available by traditional methods.

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Last updated 8 May 1998 - David Poole