Hierarchical Evidence and Belief Functions

03/27/2013 ∙ by Paul K. Black, et al. ∙ 0

Dempster/Shafer (D/S) theory has been advocated as a way of representing incompleteness of evidence in a system's knowledge base. Methods now exist for propagating beliefs through chains of inference. This paper discusses how rules with attached beliefs, a common representation for knowledge in automated reasoning systems, can be transformed into the joint belief functions required by propagation algorithms. A rule is taken as defining a conditional belief function on the consequent given the antecedents. It is demonstrated by example that different joint belief functions may be consistent with a given set of rules. Moreover, different representations of the same rules may yield different beliefs on the consequent hypotheses.

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