This thesis develops a new abstraction for solving problems in decision automation. Decision automation is the process of creating algorithms which use data to make decisions without the need for human intervention. In this abstraction, four key ideas/problems are highlighted which must be considered when solving any decision problem. These four problems are the decision problem, the learning problem, the model reduction problem, and the verification problem. One of the benefits of this abstraction is that a wide range of decision problems from many different areas can be broken down into these four “key” sub-problems. By focusing on these key sub-problems and the interactions between them, one can systematically arrive at a solution to the original problem. Three new learning platforms have been developed in the areas of portfolio optimization, business intelligence, and automated water management in order to demonstrate how this abstraction can be applied to three different types of problems. For the automated water management platform a full solution to the problem is developed using this abstraction. This yields an automated decision process which decides how much water to release from the Piute Reservoir into the Sevier River during an irrigation season. Another motivation for developing these learning platforms is that they can be used to introduce students of all disciplines to automated decision making.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science



Date Submitted


Document Type





algorithmic decision processes, learning platforms, automated water management, water, control, learning, Tour de Finance, Sevier River, Piute Dam, decision automation, decision, decision architecture