AAAI Publications, Thirteenth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

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A Bipolar Framework for Combining Beliefs about Vague Propositions
Jonathan Lawry, Didier Dubois

Last modified: 2012-05-17


A bipolar framework is introduced for combining agents' beliefs so as to enable them to reach a common shared position or viewpoint. Our approach exploits the truth-gaps inherent to propositions involving vague concepts, by allowing agents to soften directly conflicting opinions. To this end we adopt a bipolar truth-model for propositional logic characterised by lower and upper valuations on the sentences of the language. According to this model sentences may be absolutely true, absolutely false or borderline (i.e. neither absolutely true nor absolutely false). The added flexibility of a possible truth-gap between absolutely true and absolutely false allows agents with inconsistent viewpoints, in which a proposition p is absolutely true according to one view and absolutely false according to the other, to reach a compromise position in which p is borderline. Within this framework four combination operators are proposed for combining different viewpoints as represented by different valuation pairs. Intuitively, these correspond to compromise positions with different levels of semantic precision (or vagueness). Kleene belief pairs are then introduced as lower and upper measures quantifying epistemic uncertainty about the sentences of the language when valuation pairs provide the underlying truth model. The combination operators on valuation pairs are then extended to belief pairs using a general schema incorporating a probabilistic model of the interaction between agents. The properties of the four operators are then investigated within this extended framework.


vagueness;uncertainty;belief combination

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