Intelligent Agents in Decision Support Systems

Intelligent Agents in Decision Support Systems

Gloria E. Phillips-Wren (Loyola College in Maryland, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-843-7.ch058


Internet-based, distributed systems have become essential in modern organizations. When combined with artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as intelligent agents, such systems can become powerful aids to decision makers. These newer intelligent systems have extended the scope of traditional decision support systems (DSSs) to assist users with real-time decision making, multiple information flows, dynamic data, information overload, time-pressured decisions, inaccurate data, difficult-to-access data, distributed decision making, and highly uncertain decision environments. As a class, they are called intelligent decision support systems (IDSSs).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Structured Decision: A deterministic decision with a known solution.

Intelligent Decision Support System (IDSS): A decision support system with embedded artificial intelligence techniques exhibiting some or all of the abilities indicative of intelligent behavior.

Multi-Agent System: A system of intelligent agents that work together to meet their design objectives.

Unstructured Decision: Decisions with little or no agreement on the solution.

Semi-Structured Decision: Decisions in the middle between structured and unstructured decisions, requiring some human judgment and at the same time with some agreement on the solution method. Area of focus for most DSSs.

Intelligent Agent: A software program with the ability to act autonomously on behalf of a user or other agents to achieve a goal.

Decision Support System (DSS): An information system that utilizes database and model-base resources to provide assistance to decision makers through analysis and output.

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