Means-Ends Analysis

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Artificial Intelligence[1]

Means-Ends analysis is a method of solving problems. This method is useful for well-formed problems, less so for less-formed problems.

StateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. Space

Problem solving occurs in a state space. Imagine first an initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. and then a goal stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. We want to get from the initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. to the goal stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. There might be many different paths from the initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. to the goal stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation..

We can talk about how to solve this problem in terms of differences between different states and the goal (end) stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. I want to deduceReach a conclusion from the information given. the difference between two different states.

So I can look at my current problem, and then my end-stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. I will then ask "how many differences are there between my current stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation. and my end stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.".

Imagine we start at step one, our initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. The next step in this process is to create every possible permutation from my initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. The next step is to calculateObtain a numerical answer showing the relevant stages in the working. the difference in the states I just made and my end stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation..

There is an obvious method here: if I generate 6 different possible states from my initial stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation., I can then calculateObtain a numerical answer showing the relevant stages in the working. the difference between each of those states and the end stateGive a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.. I would look for the option that had the least numberA unit of abstract mathematical system subject to the laws of arithmetic. of differences to produce the most optimal solution.

Universal method of problem solving

A means-ends analysis is considered a universal method of solving problems. However, there is no guarantee of success.

References