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In the last few years, several articles have proposed decision trees (DTs) as an alternative to computerized adapted tests (CATs). These works have focused on showing the differences between the two methods with the aim of identifying the advantages of each of them and thus determining when it is preferable to use one method or another. In this article, Tree-CAT, a new technique for building CATs is presented. Unlike the existing work, Tree-CAT exploits the similarities between CATs and DTs. This technique allows the creation of CATs that minimise the mean square error in the estimation of the examinee's ability level, and controls the item's exposure rate. The decision tree is sequentially built by means of an innovative algorithmic procedure that selects the items associated with each of the tree branches by solving a linear program. In addition, our work presents further advantages over alternative item selection techniques with exposure control, such as instant item selection or simultaneous administration of the test to an unlimited number of participants. These advantages allow accurate on-line CATs to be implemented even when the item selection method is computationally costly.
decision trees; linear programming; computerized adaptive tests; item-exposure control; r package; selection; quality; system; model; catr