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The exact prediction of rockburst is an urgent problem for the underground excavation in high geostatic stress environment. Set pair analysis (SPA) and variable fuzzy sets (VFS) are new methodologies to describe and process system uncertainty. In this paper, a novel model using the theory of SPA is proposed to construct the difference function of VFS by means of approaching degree between the sample measured index value and rockburst intensity standard set. And the SPA-VFS model for the prediction of the occurrence and intensity of rockburst is described, which includes review the rockburst prediction, introduction of concept of fuzzy connecting degree. Quantitative rank feature values are also further investigated. Finally, Analyses of a practical example and comparisons with extension method and fuzzy evaluation method are carried out to demonstrate the potential occurrence and intensity of rockburst predicted by using the proposed method, and to illustrate the reasonability. The results show that the proposed method used to predict the occurrence and intensity of rockburst is feasible and effective, and convenient to operate, while the grade result is more comprehensible and objective.