Application of Information Theory to the Construction of Efficient Decision Trees

Carlos R.P. Hartmann, Pramod K. Varshney, Kishan G. Mehrotra, Carl L. Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The problem of conversion of decision tables to decision trees is treated. In most cases, the construction of optimal decision trees is an NP-complete problem and, therefore, a heuristic approach to this problem is necessary. In this heuristic approach, an application of information theoretic concepts to construct efficient decision trees for decision tables which may include “don’t care” entries is made. In contrast to most of the existing heuristic algorithms, this algorithm is systematic and is intuitively appealing from an information theoretic standpoint. The algorithm has low design complexity and yet provides near-optimal decision trees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-577
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Theory
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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