The Relationship between Knowledge, Belief and Certainty
Joseph Halpern
Abstract:
We consider the relation between knowledge and certainty, where a fact is known if it is true at all worlds an agent considers possible and is certain if it holds with probability 1. We identify certainty with probabilistic belief. We show that if we assume one fixed probability assignment, then the logic KD45, which has been identified as perhaps the most appropriate for belief, provides a complete axiomatization for reasoning about certainty. Just as an agent may believe a fact although phi is false, he may be certain that a fact phi, is true although phi is false. However, it is easy to see that an agent can have such false (probabilistic) beliefs only at a set of worlds of probability 0. If we restrict attention to structures where all worlds have positive probability, then S5 provides a complete axiomatization. If we consider a more general setting, where there might be a different probability assignment at each world, then by placing appropriate conditions on the support of the probability function (the set of worlds which have nonzero probability), we can capture many other wellknown modal logics, such as T and S4. Finally, we consider which axioms characterize structures satisfying Miller's principle.
Keywords:
Pages: 142151
PS Link:
PDF Link: /papers/89/p142halpern.pdf
BibTex:
@INPROCEEDINGS{Halpern89,
AUTHOR = "Joseph Halpern
",
TITLE = "The Relationship between Knowledge, Belief and Certainty",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Fifth Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI89)",
PUBLISHER = "AUAI Press",
ADDRESS = "Corvallis, Oregon",
YEAR = "1989",
PAGES = "142151"
}

