Decision Systsmes Laboratory
 

 Who We Are 
 GeNIe & SMILE 

 Awards 
 Research 
 Teaching 

 Community Services 
       UAI Proceedings 
       Books 
       Other Software 
       Funding 
       Canoe Trips 
 Corporate Partners 
 Consulting 

 
Other Software

Other Software

This page contains a list of software that supports decision analytic approach to decision making under uncertainty. The list is based on notes that I made when searching for software packages that would be useful for students to get acquainted with in connection with the class Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems that I am teaching in the Department of Information Science and Intelligent Systems Program at the University of Pittsburgh. (I ended up developing our own package for influence diagrams and Bayesian networks, GeNIe, listed below.) The list is slightly slanted towards the application of decision analytic methods in intelligent information systems. Each software package on the list contains an electronic link (wherever available) to the developer/vendor and my comments. The comments are, of course, subjective and are not necessarily right. The readers are strongly urged to comment on my comments (please send e-mail to ). I would also appreciate additions to the list and other relevant information.



Analytica
Lumina Decision Systems

Analytica is a influence diagram-based, visual environment for creating, analyzing and communicating probabilistic models for business, risk, and decision analysis. It has a pleasant, intuitive interface that includes hierarchical sub models and a variety of graphs. Analytica is especially good when the problem at hand requires modeling both continuous and discrete variables. Recent additions support OLE and ODBC protocols, allowing dynamic linking into spreadsheets and databases, and linking to Excel's grapher to provide greater flexibility in customizing the appearance of graphs in Analytica. Lumina's WWW pages provide more information about the program along with downloadable demos and example models.



Criterium Decision Plus
InfoHarvest, Inc.

A software package implementing two approaches to multi-attribute decision making: Analytical Hierarchy Processes (Saaty) and Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique (Edwards). Concentrates on trying to let the user fully understand multicriteria analysis, and the effect of uncertainty in the outcomes on the preference over decision options. A demo version of Criterion Decision Plus can be downloaded from InfoHarvest's web pages.



Crystal Ball
Decisioneering. Inc.

An add-in for Microsoft Excel. It is a risk analysis package that performs Monte Carlo simulation and can be used for decision modeling in any spreadsheet model. A demo version can be downloaded from Decisioneering's web pages.



DATA 3.0
TreeAge Software. Inc.

A program implementing both decision trees and influence diagrams. Has a simple interface with a host of features that enable sophisticated analysis while retaining the interface simplicity. Offers features like sensitivity analysis, threshold analysis, cost-effectiveness calculations, recursive Markov processes, and Monte Carlo simulation. A demo version (does not save models) is available from TreeAge's web pages.



DecisionPro
Vanguard Software Corporation

A program implementing hierarchical decision models and decision trees. Offers features like sensitivity analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, data analysis, forecasting, and optimization. A demo version is available from the developers (can be downloaded from Vanguard web pages).



DPL (Decision Programming Language)
Applied Decision Analysis, Inc.

A complete and powerful package implementing both decision trees and influence diagrams. Three versions are available: standard, advanced, and developer, at different prices. A demo version (does not save models) is available (can be downloaded from ADA web pages). Academic editions (reduced speed versions for students and faculty only) of DPL are sold through ITP Warehouse: Duxbury Press, 1(800)354-9706.



Ergo
Noetic Systems. Inc.

A simple, but intuitive and fast program implementing Bayesian networks. A demo version ( does not save models) is available from Noetic's web pages.



Expert Choice
ExQert Choice. Inc.

Expert Choice implements the Analytical Hierarchy Processes approach by Thomas L. Saaty. The developers offer also Team Expert Choice, a version that is suitable for team decision making.



GeNIe
Decision Systems Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh

GeNie is a decision modeling environment implementing influence diagrams and Bayesian networks, developed at the Decision Systems Laboratory, University of Pittsburgh. It has an intuitive graphical interface that includes hierarchical sub models, Windows-style tree view, and a comprehensive HTML-based on-line help that includes beginners-oriented tutorials for Bayesian networks, influence diagrams, and basic decision analytic techniques. GeNie implements multi-attribute utility functions, Noisy-OR and Noisy-AND gates, value of information, and sensitivity analysis. In addition to its native file format, GeNie supports reading and writing of Hugin, Netica, and Ergo files and can be used for conversion of models among these programs. GeNie comes with SMILE (Structural Modeling, Inference, and Learning Engine) an application programmer's interface (API) library of C++ classes that allows object-oriented software development based on decision-analytic techniques. SMILE is also available as an ActiveX control, SmileX, that allows building custom decision support applications under Windows in any programming language, including but not limited to Java, Visual Basic, HTML pages, and Excel spreadsheets.

GeNIe, SMILE, and SmileX are available free of charge for non-commercial use, such as teaching, research, and personal use and can be downloaded from GeNIe & SMILE Web site. Commercial applications require a license from Decision Systems Laboratory. The package includes several large Bayesian network and influence diagrams models, useful in teaching. GeNIe implementation of all influence diagrams from the textbook Making Hard Decisions by Robert T. Clemen can be found here.




Hugin
Hugin Expert A/S

Hugin implements Bayesian networks and influence diagrams. It is very fast and comes with an application programmer's interface (API) C programmer's library that allows software development around Hugin. Demo version (does not save models consisting of more than 90 states) is available from Hugin' s web pages. Hugin web site contains also several Bayesian networks and influence diagrams models, useful in teaching decision analysis.



Logical Decisions
Logical Decisions

Logical Decisions is a decision structuring tool implementing multi-attribute utility analysis with a powerful graphical interface. It integrates the Tradeoff, SMART, SMARTER, and A HP methods for weight assessment. It provides a graphical objectives hierarchy and has many features and displays. A demo version can be requested from the developer through Logical Decisions' web page.



Netica
Norsys Software Corp.

A powerful program implementing Bayesian networks and influence diagrams. Allows for specifying the interaction among variables in terms of conditional probabilities, equations, or data files of observations (the conditional probability distributions will be learned from these observations). It is very fast and comes with an application programmer's library (API) C programmer's interface that allows software development around Netica. A demo version (does not save models consisting of more than 15 variables and does not load models larger than 50 variables) is available from Norsy's web pages. Norsy's web site contains also several Bayesian networks and influence diagrams models, useful in teaching decision analysis.



PrecisionTree
Palisade Cornor

An add-in for Microsoft Excel that allows you to build decision trees and influence diagrams directly in the spreadsheet. A tutorial (slide presentations on the software, not a usable demo version) is available from the developers (can be downloaded from their World Wide Web pages). Palisades offer the Analytical PowerTools Interactive CD for PCs, a multimedia guided tour through all their products, as well as information about all the products listed in their Analytical PowerTools catalog. The CD can be requested one through their website. See also @RISK on this page.



xbaies2
Robert Cowell

Xbaies version 2 is a program for building chain graph-networks of discrete random variables and multistage discrete decision networks, and uses junction tree propagation for inference and finding optimal decisions. There are many features implemented for learning and monitoring probabilities of given networks. Specification of decision problems is similar to that of influence diagrams, but, instead of diagramatically including information arcs, the natural ordering in which the decisions are taken and random variables are revealed is specified numerically. Optimal decisions (and also sub optimal decisions) may be read off by inspection of values in the cliques of a junction tree.

Restrictions: Free for educational establishment use for education and research only; any commercial use forbidden.




@RISK
Palisade Corporation

An add-in for Lotus 1-2-3 or Microsoft Excel. It is a Risk Analysis package that performs Monte Carlo simulation and can be used for decision modeling in any spreadsheet model. A tutorial (slide presentations on the software, not a usable demo version) is available from the developers ( can be downloaded from their World Wide Web pages). Palisades offer the Analytical PowerTools Interactive CD for PCs, a multimedia guided tour through all their products, as well as information about all the products listed in their Analytical Power Tools catalog. The CD can be requested one through their website. See also PrecisionTree on this page.








 
by Tomek D Loboda and Mark Voortman