A definition of subjective possibility

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, 2008, 48 (2), pp. 352 - 364
Issue Date:
2008-06-01
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Based on the setting of exchangeable bets, this paper proposes a subjectivist view of numerical possibility theory. It relies on the assumption that when an agent constructs a probability measure by assigning prices to lotteries, this probability measure is actually induced by a belief function representing the agent's actual state of knowledge. We also assume that the probability measure proposed by the agent in the course of the elicitation procedure is constructed via the so-called pignistic transformation (mathematically equivalent to the Shapley value in game theory). We pose and solve the problem of finding the least informative belief function having a given pignistic probability. We prove that it is unique and consonant, thus induced by a possibility distribution. This result exploits a simple informational ordering, in agreement with partial orderings between belief functions, comparing their information content. The obtained possibility distribution is subjective in the same sense as in the subjectivist school in probability theory. However, we claim that it is the least biased representation of the agent's state of knowledge compatible with the observed betting behaviour. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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