The clarity test is an important issue in Exercise 3.11. The weather obviously can be somewhere between full sunshine and rain. Should you include an outcome like “cloudy”? Would it affect your satisfaction with an outdoor barbecue? How will you define rain? The National Weather Service uses the following definition: Rain has occurred if “measurable precipitation” (more than 0.004 inch) has occurred at the official rain gauge. Would this definition be suitable for your purposes? Define a set of weather outcomes that is appropriate relative to your objective of having an enjoyable party.

Exercise 3.11:

Here is an example that provides a comparison between influence diagrams and decision trees.

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a. Suppose you are planning a party, and your objective is to have an enjoyable party for all the guests. An outdoor barbecue would be the best, but only if the sun shines; rain would ruin the barbecue. On the other hand, you could plan an indoor party. This would be a good party, not as nice as an outdoor barbecue in the sunshine but better than a barbecue in the rain. Of course, it is always possible to forego the party altogether! Construct an influence diagram and a decision tree using PrecisionTree for this problem.

b. You will, naturally, consult the weather forecast, which will tell you that the weather will be either “sunny” or “rainy.” The forecast is not perfect, however. If the forecast is “sunny,” then sunshine is more likely than rain, but there still is a small chance that it will rain. A forecast of “rainy” implies that rain is likely, but the sun may still shine. Now draw an influence diagram using PrecisionTree for the decision, including the weather forecast. (There should be four nodes in your diagram, including one for the forecast, which will be available at the time you decide what kind of party to have, and one for the actual weather. Which direction should the arrow point between these two nodes? Why?) Now draw a decision tree for this problem. Recall that the events and decisions in a decision tree should be in chronological order.

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