Decision Trees in Real Life and Artificial Intelligence

Written by Aashish Yadavally

To those people who might have redirected to this article in search of “Decision Trees”, a concept in the field of Artificial Intelligence, well, sorry to disappoint you, but you are on the wrong tab.

It’s not your fault. There is no denying that the 21st century is the digital age of computers, where man wants to model everything that nature has to offer.

In fact, there is a whole sub-field dedicated to such modelling, namely Natural Computing. The complete success of that modelling will lead this world into a new era, but that is a discussion for another day.

Being involved in the process of becoming a CS engineer, I have come across a few such models myself.

  • The cells in the body relate to states in the automaton theory,
  • neurons in the brain to artificial neurons in the field of artificial intelligence, and so on.

One such modelling every CS engineer needs to use through the course of their education is, “Trees”.

Trees are structures a CS engineer works around with regularly, and they literally, are modeled on trees. There are branches, sub-branches, leaves, et al. Any other CS engineer would have probably left it at that.

That’s where being a philosophical CS Engineer helps.

You tend to add a bit more than what people usually tend to see.

The idea of looking at trees, in actual, starts with glancing at the branches, the leaves attached to them. You then move to the trunk, then begin wondering how wonderful nature’s creation is, relating to how such a magnificent structure could come out of something as insignificant as a small seed. But then, isn’t that life all about?

The journey of a seed is analogous to the life of a person.

One decision of two individuals to bring a new life into this world is what it takes to kickstart one’s clock, or rather, sow their seed of life. Like how the seed needs constant care, so does the fetus in the mother’s womb.

First life sprouts from the seed when the sapling grows out of the soil. It is very similar to an infant being welcomed out into this world. The sapling then needs a little care, i.e adequate water, sunlight, etc and it’s growth follows the path of it’s trunk, finally leading itself into a series of branches and sub-branches.

Similarly, an infant needs this constant care and guidance as well, till it becomes mature enough to think about itself and take it’s own decisions.

This is where life gets interesting

It can be said that life, from here on is a cummulation of different decisions a person takes, and the circumstances attached with each of them.

Every decision, at every stage of life translates into a series of consequences. These consequences lead to another juncture with the need for yet another decision and the consequences attached with that decision.

Would I then be wrong for concluding that life is nothing but a Decision Tree, with each branch indicating what that person’s life could have been had they taken that particular decision at that point of time?

This proves that at each point in life, there are multiple choices to make, multiple options to choose from.

A bad decision might leave you in dismay for the moment,

but life will still throw a few options at you, choosing one from which you can always grow into a much better individual.

Thus, an individual must put in more thought into making the right decision at such a juncture, and thus lead their life in a better direction, rather than cribbing about the circumstances which could have surfaced had they taken a different decision at an earlier point of time.

— By Aashish Yadavally


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