The structure of oppositions in rough set theory and formal concept analysis - Toward a new bridge between the two settings

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Conference Proceeding
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 2014, 8367 LNCS pp. 154 - 173
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Rough set theory (RST) and formal concept analysis (FCA) are two formal settings in information management, which have found applications in learning and in data mining. Both rely on a binary relation. FCA starts with a formal context, which is a relation linking a set of objects with their properties. Besides, a rough set is a pair of lower and upper approximations of a set of objects induced by an indistinguishability relation; in the simplest case, this relation expresses that two objects are indistinguishable because their known properties are exactly the same. It has been recently noticed, with different concerns, that any binary relation on a Cartesian product of two possibly equal sets induces a cube of oppositions, which extends the classical Aristotelian square of oppositions structure, and has remarkable properties. Indeed, a relation applied to a given subset gives birth to four subsets, and to their complements, that can be organized into a cube. These four subsets are nothing but the usual image of the subset by the relation, together with similar expressions where the subset and / or the relation are replaced by their complements. The eight subsets corresponding to the vertices of the cube can receive remarkable interpretations, both in the RST and the FCA settings. One facet of the cube corresponds to the core of RST, while basic FCA operators are found on another facet. The proposed approach both provides an extended view of RST and FCA, and suggests a unified view of both of them. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.
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