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A quantitative treatment of multilevel specificity and uncertainty in variable precision reasoning

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2 Author(s)
W. L. Perry ; Rand Corp., Washington, DC, USA ; H. E. Stephanou

A methodology for reasoning about the state of the environment based on evidence received from some source is developed. It is assumed that the evidence is expressed as a probability mass function defined on a discrete set of mutually exclusive hypotheses about the state of the environment. Given that the quality of the evidence is variable, it follows that the precision of the reasoning process must also vary. The level of specificity and the certainty associated with decisions made at that level depend directly on the quality of the evidence. An indistinguishability measure is used to generate a core set of aggregate focal elements, each of which may consist of logical disjunctions of the basic hypothesis set. Partial dominance is then used to associate a basic probability assignment on the core set. This approach allows simple, quantitative methods to express the variations in the precision associated with decisions. The result is a set of aggregate hypotheses and their support levels that become input to the classification process

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 2 )