A set-theoretic view of belief functions: Logical operations and approximations by fuzzy sets
A body of evidence in the sense of Shafer can be viewed as an extension of a probability measure, but as a generalized set as well. In this paper we adopt the second point of view and study the algebraic structure of bodies of evidence on a set, based on extended set union, intersection and complementation. Several notions of inclusion are exhibited and compared to each other. Inclusion is used to compare a body of evidence to the product of its projections. Lastly, approximations of a body of evidence under the form of fuzzy sets are derived, in order to squeeze plausibility values between two grades of possibility. Through all the paper, it is pointed out that a body of evidence can account for conjunctive as well as a disjunctive information, i.e. the focal elements can be viewed either as sets of actual values or as restrictions on the (unique) value of a variable. © 2008 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
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