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Cross-Application Hypertext

for Qualitative Decision Making

Jane M. Fritz
University of York


Decision making is a complex and incompletely understood process which has, until now, been supported by computer technology in its analytical aspects only. This report addresses the qualitative, or intuitive, aspects of decision making and makes a claim for the potential of crossapplication hypertext to provide a computer-based enhancement to a decision maker's qualitative cognitive prpocesses. In order to define the types of computational processing which may be considered qualitative on nature and thereby candidates for enhancement by hypertext techniques, this report first surveys the literature on general problem solving and decision making. Relevant hypertext literature is then reviewed, along with examples of of existing computer-based support for qualitative decision making. The report concludes with an introduction to a cross-application hypertext prototype system which will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of qualitative support provided by such a system.