One of the primary objectives of the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to provide computational tools to support decision-making processes carried out by humans. The three major tasks in which computationally automated tools can greatly assist human decision makers are as follows.
- Obtaining information relevant to the decision task at hand, helping the human decision maker identify the actual space of alternatives. The abundance of information available in data repositories provides convenient grounds for automated systems to extract information from, yet poses extremely difficult challenges due to the variety and quantities of available data.
- Modeling and reasoning about likelihood and desirability of various outcomes of alternative decisions. This modeling step is based on exploiting information obtained during the step of information gathering, as well as on various assumptions and insights about both the dynamics of the world and the preferences of the decision maker.
- Assisting the user to plan the actions needed to implement her decision. This planning step exploits the outcomes of both previous steps, and adds on top of them reasoning about the combinatorics of alternative courses of action.
The research conducted in the Business Intelligence lab in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion is aimed at developing mathematical and computational tools addressing (separately and together) these three grand missions. Established by Prof. Carmel Domshlak and Dr. Oren Kurland, the vision of the Business Intelligence lab is that sophisticated decision support tools can really change the way users take their everyday decisions, and this change will affect the structure and dynamics of the world economy. The goal of the Business Intelligence Lab is to provide effective environment that will breed research on new frontiers of decision-support systems, bringing together faculty members working on various aspects of this challenging area.