A Simple View of the Dempster-Shafer Theory of Evidence and Its Implication for the Rule of Combination

  • Lotfi A. Zadeh


During the past two years, the Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence has attracted considerable attention within the AI community as a promising method of dealing with uncertainty in expert systems. As presented in the literature, the theory is hard to master. In a simple approach that is outlined in this paper, the Dempster-Shafer theory is viewed in the context of relational databases as the application of familiar retrieval techniques to second-order relations in first normal form. The relational viewpoint clarifies some of the controversial issues in the Dempster-Shafer theory and facilities its use in AI-oriented applications.