The researchers used mathematical modeling frameworks, known as "The Markov Decision Processes" and "Dynamic Decision Networks" to perform the tests. The computer modeling considered all the different possible sequences of actions and effects of medical treatment in advance, "even in cases where we are unsure of the effects," Bennett said.
"Modeling lets us see more possibilities out to a further point, which is something that is hard for a doctor to do," Hauser added. "They just don't have all of that information available to them."
Previous work by Hauser and Bennett had shown how machine learning can determine the best treatment at a single point in time for an individual patient. This is the first time they used the computer modeling with a large group of patients.
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