Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
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Making Decisions with Belief Functions
Thomas Strat
A primary motivation for reasoning under uncertainty is to derive decisions in the face of inconclusive evidence. However, Shafer's theory of belief functions, which explicitly represents the underconstrained nature of many reasoning problems, lacks a formal procedure for making decisions. Clearly, when sufficient information is not available, no theory can prescribe actions without making additional assumptions. Faced with this situation, some assumption must be made if a clearly superior choice is to emerge. In this paper we offer a probabilistic interpretation of a simple assumption that disambiguates decision problems represented with belief functions. We prove that it yields expected values identical to those obtained by a probabilistic analysis that makes the same assumption. In addition, we show how the decision analysis methodology frequently employed in probabilistic reasoning can be extended for use with belief functions.
Pages: 351-360
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PDF Link: /papers/89/p351-strat.pdf
AUTHOR = "Thomas Strat ",
TITLE = "Making Decisions with Belief Functions",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Fifth Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-89)",
ADDRESS = "Corvallis, Oregon",
YEAR = "1989",
PAGES = "351--360"

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