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Decision tree charts have three main parts: a root node, leaf nodes and branches. The root node is the starting point of the tree, and both root and leaf nodes contain questions or criteria to be answered. Branches are arrows connecting nodes, showing the flow from question to answer. Each node typically has two or more nodes extending from it. For example, if the question in the first node requires a "yes" or "no" answer, there will be a leaf node for if the answer is "yes" and another for if the answer is "no".
A decision tree can be used in either a predictive manner or a descriptive manner, depending on its application. In either instance they are constructed the same way and are always used to visualize all possible outcomes and decision points that occur chronologically. Decision trees are most commonly used in the financial world for areas such as loan approval, portfolio management, and spending. A decision tree can also be helpful when examining the viability of a new product, or new market for a current product.