Time-Critical Action: Representations and Application

Eric Horvitz

Senior Researcher, Decision Theory & Adaptive Systems Group
Microsoft Research
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399

Adam Seiver

Director, Critical Care Service
Department of Surgery
Stanford Medical School
Stanford, CA 94305

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We review the problem of time-critical action and discuss a reformulation that shifts knowledge acquisition from the assessment of complex temporal probabilistic dependencies to the direct assessment of time-dependent utilities over key outcomes of interest. We dwell on a class of decision problems characterized by the centrality of diagnosing and reacting in a timely manner to pathological processes. We motivate key ideas in the context of trauma-care triage and transportation decisions.

Keywords: Time-critical action, trauma care, triage, decision-theoretic inference, Bayesian networks.

In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, Providence, RI, August 1997. Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco.

Author Email: horvitz@microsoft.com, seiver@smi.stanford.edu

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