Decision Making With Consonant Belief Functions: Discrepancy Resulting With the Probability Transformation Method Used

Esma Nur Cinicioglu

Dempster−Shafer belief function theory can address a wider class of uncertainty than the standard probability theory does, and this fact appeals the researchers in operations research society for potential application areas. However, the lack of a decision theory of belief functions gives rise to the need to use the probability transformation methods for decision making. For representation of statistical evidence, the class of consonant belief functions is used which is not closed under Dempster’s rule of combination but is closed under Walley’s rule of combination. In this research, it is shown that the outcomes obtained using both Dempster’s and Walley’s rules do result in different probability distributions when pignistic transformation is used. However, when plausibility transformation is used, they do result in the same probability distribution. This result shows that the choice of the combination rule and probability transformation method may have a significant effect on decision making since it may change the choice of the decision alternative selected. This result is illustrated via an example of missile type identification.