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A decision tree is a graphical representation of specific decision situations that are used when complex branching occurs in a structured decision process. A decision tree is a predictive model based on a branching series of Boolean tests that use specific facts to make more generalized conclusions.
The main components of a decision tree involve decision points represented by nodes, actions and specific choices from a decision point. Each rule within a decision tree is represented by tracing a series of paths from root to node to the next node and so on until an action is reached.
Decision trees are a popular and powerful tool used for classification and prediction purposes. Decision trees provide a convenient alternative for viewing and managing large sets of business rules, allowing them be translated in a way that allows humans to understand them and apply the rules constraints in a database so that records falling into a specific category are sure to be retrieved.
Decision trees generally consist of the following four steps: