An influence diagram (also called a relevance diagram, decision diagram or a decision network) is a compact graphical and mathematical representation of a decision situation. It is a generalization of a Bayesian network, in which not only probabilistic inference problems but also decision making problems (following the maximum expected utility criterion) can be modeled and solved.
I'm proposing to use influence diagrams in an online platform which will mediate disagreements between its visitors. Here is how it may work:
- A controversial political decision is considered (e.g. How Brexit should be resolved?).
- Analysts of the platform create an influence diagram of the decision situation without specifying the parts which are controversial (e.g. How important is preservation of British identity?).
- Arguers of the platform list argument about how the controversial parts should be evaluated.
- Ordinary platform users explore the diagram, read the arguments and specify their opinions about the controversial parts similar to a questionnaire.
- Based on the user's inputs, the influence diagram recommends the decision with the highest expected value. Different users get different recommendations.
- Critical parts of the diagram which causes the most amount of disagreement are identified.
- Analysts review and provide more detailed models for the critical parts. Arguers focus on the critical parts to have the most influence on the decision recommendations.
- Steps 4-7 repeat until the diagram is so detailed and arguments are so comprehensive that the overwhelming majority of the participants have the same view of the decision situation.
- Either the decision which satisfies overwhelming majority emerges or the shared understanding is used to run a successful negotiation.
Can such a use of influence diagrams be effective? Is there a better way to use them in the context of politics?