Tip of the Week #12                     Tip Index

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PrecisionTree Software

from Palisade Corporation, 31 Decker Road, Newfield, NY 14867, 800-432-7475 (in US), 607-277-8000, fax: 607-277-8001, http://www.palisade.com, e-mail: sales@palisade.com.

This new program allows the user to create decision trees and influence diagrams in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Influence diagrams represent the relationships between events and can create decision trees.

In the decision trees, logic nodes can represent more complex decision policy than the expected value rule.

The Pro version automates sensitivity analysis. Further, models can be converted to Visual Basic (VBA) code for customization.

Palisade staff at the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Annual Technical Conference and Exposition were demonstrating the software. They say PrecisionTree integrates with @RISK.

My impression is that PrecisionTree captures most of the functionality of DPL (package from Applied Decision Analysis; Palisade probability reverse-engineered, which is fair). The interface is the Excel spreadsheet, which is both good and bad news, depending upon the user's preference.

PrecisionTree Standard for Excel 5 or 7, Windows 3.1+ or NT, costs $495. The Pro version is $795. Palisade now offers their tools in Decision Tools Suites (Standard $995; Pro $1,295). These include @RISK (Monte Carlo), TopRank (sensitivity analysis), Precision Tree (decision tree), BestFit (for distribution fitting), and RiskView (distribution viewing).

Decision Precision

--John Schuyler, October 1996