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A discussion of decision tables, a framework for describing a set of related decision rules. The tables can improve the communication and documentation achieved by previous techniques such as flow charts and narrative descriptions of data processing problems, particularly those with complex decision rules. Decision tables also offer system analysts the possibility of eliminating inconsistencies and redundancies in each set of specified decision rules and of producing programs efficient in the use of computer storage and running time. They also enable the system analyst to determine if he has considered all the possible decision rules that can be formed from a particular set of conditions. The author develops for decision tables a theoretical structure that serves as the foundation for achieving these benefits.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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