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Uncertainty in

Rule-Based Expert Systems

• Fundamental ideas
• Bayesian reasoning
• Certainty factors theory
• Comparison

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Uncertainty
• Lack of exact knowledge to reach a perfectly
reliable conclusion
• Information often incomplete, inconsistent,
uncertain  uncertainty unavoidable
• Without uncertainty, exact rules are feasible
– A = TRUE  A = ~FALSE
– B = FALSE  B = ~TRUE

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Source of Uncertainty
• Weak implications: handle vague association
– difficult to establish strong correlation between
condition and action part
• Imprecise language: often, sometimes, hardly
• Unknown data: approximate reasoning
• Combination of the views of different experts
– different conclusion from different experts on the
same question

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Expert Systems and Uncertainty
• Uncertainty is unavoidable
• Mechanism to allow some uncertainty in
expert system
• Most popular paradigm:
– Bayesian reasoning
– certainty factors

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Definition of Probability
• Proportion of cases in which the event occurs
• Scientific measure of chance
• Range : [0,1]

# Event_occured
p=
# Possible_event

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Conditional and Joint Probability
• Conditional probability : probability that event
A will occur if event B occurs
p( A  B)
p( A | B) =
p( B)
• Joint probability (p(A ∩B)) : probability that
both event A and B occur

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Common Relationships
p ( A ∩ B ) = p ( B ∩ A)
p( A ∩ B) = p( A | B) p( B)
p ( A | B ) p ( B ) = p ( B | A) p( A)
n
p ( A) = ∑ p ( A | Bi ) p( Bi )
i =1

p ( B | A) p ( A)
p( A | B) =
p( B | A) p ( A) + p ( B | ¬A) p (¬A)
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Bayesian Reasoning
• Rules:
IF E is true
THEN H is true (with probability p),
where E : evidence, H : hypothesis
• When event E occurs, H will occurs with
probability p(H|E)
• p(H|E) : posterior probability

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Multiple Hypotheses
• Select a hypothesis from a number of
hypotheses to explain the current evidence

p( E | H i ) p( H i )
p( H i | E ) = m

∑ p( E | H
k =1
k ) p( H k )

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Multiple Evidences, Multiple Hypothesis
• Select a hypothesis from a number of
hypotheses to support the existing multiple
evidences

p ( E1 E2 ...En | H i ) p ( H i )
p ( H i | E1 E2 ...En ) = m

∑ p( E E ...E
k =1
1 2 n | H k ) p( H k )

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Difficulty and Solution
• All cases of conditional probabilities must be
known
• Assume conditional independence among
evidences
p ( E1 | H i ) p ( E2 | H i )... p ( En | H i ) p ( H i )
p ( H i | E1 E2 ...En ) = m

∑ p( E
k =1
1 | H k ) p ( E2 | H k )... p( En | H k ) p ( H k )

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Computation Example
Hypothesis
Probability i=1 i=2 i=3
p(Hi) 0.40 0.35 0.25
P(E1|Hi) 0.3 0.8 0.5
P(E2|Hi) 0.9 0.0 0.7
P(E3|Hi) 0.6 0.7 0.9
Find P(Hi|E3), P(Hi|E1E3) and P(Hi|E1E2E3)
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Case Study: FORECAST
• See Table 3.3
• Two basic rules
– 1: Today is rain.  Tomorrow is rain.
– 2: Today is dry.  Tomorrow is dry.
– Error: 10 mistakes in 30 forecasts

How to include probability into rules….

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Parameters for Belief in Hypothesis
• Likelihood of sufficiency (LS): measure of the
expert belief in hypothesis H
p( E | H )
LS =
p ( E | ¬H )
• Likelihood of necessity (LN): measure of
discredit to hypothesis H
p ( ¬E | H )
LN =
p ( ¬E | ¬H )
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Determination of LN and LS
• Directly decided by experts
• High LS (LS >> 1) : rule strongly supports the
hypothesis
• Low LN (0 < LN < 1): rule strongly opposes
the hypothesis in case of missing evidence
• LN cannot be derived from LS

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Probability Inclusion
• Assume each event equally possible (p = 0.5)
• Two adapted rules:
– 1: Today is rain {LS 2.5, LN .6}  Tomorrow is
rain {prior 0.5}
– 2: Today is dry {LS 1.6, LN .4}  Tomorrow is
dry {prior 0.5}

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Calculation for Overall Probability
• Objective: find max. posterior probabilities
• Use prior probability for the 1st calculation
• Update by LS if the evidence is true
• Update by LN if the evidence is false
• Continue until all events are applied

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Prior Odd
• Define prior odd: ratio of the occurrence to
non-occurrence
p( H )
O( H ) =
1 − p( H )
• Help in easy calculation of the posterior
probability

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Find Posterior Probability by O(H)
O( H | E ) = LS × O( H )
O( H | ¬E ) = LN × O( H )
O( H | E )
p( H | E ) =
1 + O( H | E )
O ( H | ¬E )
p ( H | ¬E ) =
1 + O ( H | ¬E )
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FORECAST: Rules (1)
• 1: Today is rain (LS 2.5, LN 0.6)  Tomorrow
is rain {prior 0.5}
• 2: Today is dry (LS 1.6, LN 0.4)  Tomorrow
is dry {prior 0.5}
• 3: Today is rain and rainfall is low (LS 10, LN
1)  Tomorrow is dry {prior 0.5}

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FORECAST: Rules (2)
• 4: Today is rain; rainfall is low and
temperature is cold (LS 1.5, LN 1) 
Tomorrow is dry {prior 0.5}
• 5: Today is dry and temperature is warm (LS 2,
LN 0.9)  Tomorrow is rain {prior 0.5}
• 6: Today is dry; temperature is warm and sky
is overcast (LS 5, LN 1)  Tomorrow is rain
{prior 0.5}
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Information about Today
• Weather: rain
– use rules with the event on weather only (1, 2)
• Rainfall: low
– use rules with the event on rainfall (3)
• Temperature: cold
– use rules with the event on temperature (4, 5)
• Cloud cover: overcast
– use rules with the event on cloud cover (6)
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Problems of Bayesian Method
• Primary input: probability
• Human unable to/badly elicit probability
values consistent with the Bayesian rules 
Conditional probability inconsistent with prior
probability
• Prior probabilities inconsistent with LS & LN
• Conditional independence of evidence rarely
satisfied
• Impractical for large knowledge bases
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Inconsistency in Bayesian Method
• Case study: starting car
• Given probability:
– p(bad starter | odd noises) = 0.7
– p(odd noises | bad starter) = 0.85
– p(bad starter) = 0.05
• Derived probability from p(odd noises | bad
starter) and p(bad starter)
– p(bad starter | odd noises) = 0.23 (<< 0.7!!!)
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Cause of Inconsistency
• Different assumptions on conditional and prior
probability
• p(bad starter) calculated from p(bad starter |
odd noises) and p(odd noises | bad starter) is
0.29. Hint: rearranging term in the following
equation:
p( E | H ) p( H )
p( H | E ) =
p ( E | H ) p ( H ) + p ( E | ¬H ) p ( ¬H )
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Certainty Factor Theory
• Popular alternative to Bayesian reasoning
• Pros:
– No reliable statistical data of the problem domain
– Unable to explain the hypothesis in logical term
and mathematically consistence
• Introduce certainty factor (c.f.) for measuring
expert believes
– Range [-1,1] : [definitely untrue, definitely true]

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Rules in Certainty Factors Theory
• IF <evidence> THEN <hypothesis> {cf}
Term Certainty factor
Definitely not -1.0
Almost certainly not -0.8
Probably not -0.6
Maybe not -0.4
Unknown -0.2 to 0.2
Maybe 0.4 …

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cf and Probabilities
MB( H , E ) − MD( H , E )
cf =
1 − min[ MB( H , E ), MD( H , E )]
 1 ; p(H) = 1
 max[ p ( H | E ), p ( H )] − p ( H )
MB( H , E ) = 
; otherwise
 max[1,0] − p ( H )
 1 ; p(H) = 0
 min[ p ( H | E ), p( H )] − p( H )
MD( H , E ) = 
; otherwise
 min[1,0] − p( H )
MB : Measure of Belief, MD : Measure of Disbelief
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Example of Rules
• IF A is X
THEN B is Y {cf 0.7}
B is Z {cf 0.2}
• More than one value assigned to B
• For the remaining 10%, anything can happen
including value not yet been observed.

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Propagation of cf
• cf(H,E) = cf(E) × cf
• E.g.
IF the sky is clear
THEN the forecast is sunny {cf 0.8}
Current cf for the sky is clear= 0.5
cf(H,E) = 0.5 × 0.8 = 0.4
 It may be sunny

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Multiple Evidences: Conjunctive
• A hypothesis implied from a number of evidences
cf ( H , E1 ∩ E2 ∩ ... ∩ En ) =
min[cf ( E1 ), cf ( E2 ),..., cf ( En )] × cf
• E.g.
IF sky is clear {cf 0.9}
AND the forecast is sunny {cf 0.7}
THEN the action is “wear sunglasses” {cf 0.8}

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Multiple Evidence: Disjunctive
• A hypothesis implied from one or more
evidences
cf ( H , E1 ∪ E2 ∪ ... ∪ En ) =
max[cf ( E1 ), cf ( E2 ),..., cf ( En )] × cf
• E.g.
• IF sky is overcast {cf 0.6}
• OR the forecast is rain {cf 0.8}
• THEN the action is “take an umbrella” {cf 0.8}
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Rules Combination
• Rules that lead to the same hypothesis
• Rule 1: IF A is X
THEN C is Z {cf 0.8}
• Rule 2: IF B is Y
THEN C is Z {cf 0.6}
How to combine the two rules…

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Combined cf

cf1 + cf 2 (1 − cf1 ) ; cf1 > 0 ∩ cf 2 > 0


 cf1 + cf 2
cf (cf1 , cf 2 ) =  ; cf1 < 0 ∪ cf 2 < 0
1 − min( cf1 , cf 2 )
cf1 + cf 2 (1 + cf1 ) ; cf1 < 0 ∩ cf 2 < 0

Combine according to the confidence of the


hypothesis from each evidence.

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FORECAST: Rules for cf (1)
• Control cf
• Control “threshold 0.01”
• 1: Today is rain  Tomorrow is rain {cf 0.5}
• 2: Today is dry  Tomorrow is dry {cf 0.5}
• 3: Today is rain and rainfall is low 
Tomorrow is day {cf 0.6}

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FORECAST: Rules for cf (2)
• 4: Today is rain; rainfall is low and
temperature is cold  Tomorrow is dry {cf
0.7}
• 5: Today is dry and temperature is warm 
Tomorrow is rain {cf 0.65}
• 6: Today is dry; temperature is warm and sky
is overcast  Tomorrow is rain {cf 0.55}
• Seek tomorrow
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Information about Today
• Weather: rain
– use rules on weather evidence (1)
• Rainfall: low with cf of 0.8
– use rules with the event on rainfall and weather (3)
• Temperature: cold with cf of 0.9
– use rules with the event on temperature (4)
• Combine rules with the same hypothesis
– combine result from rule (3) with rule (4)
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Pitfall of cf
• Assumption of independence
• Violation of independence
1) IF sprinkler ON last night {cf 1}
THEN grass wet in the morning {cf 0.8}
2)IF grass wet in the morning
THEN rained last night {cf 0.9}
cf[wet, sprinkler ON] = 1 × 0.8 = 0.8
cf[rain, wet] = 0.8 × 0.9 = 0.72
Evidence of RAIN when grass was wet by sprinkler!?
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How to Avoid Pitfall
• Use only causal or inverse causal
– Sprinkler on  grass wet : causal
– Grass wet  rain : inverse causal
• Partition causal and inverse causal relationship
so that the derived evidence cannot be used
again to go back the other way without new
evidence.

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Bayesian Reasoning VS cf
Bayesian Reasoning Certainty Factor Theory
• Rely on valid data and • Subjective (unclear)
statistical information information
• Assume the conditional • Heuristic approach
independence of • Assume the
evidence independence of
• Mathematically correct evidence
• E.g. PROSPECTOR • E.g. MYCIN
Both aim for E.S able to quantify personal, subjective
and qualitative info.
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HOMEWORK
• Design the diagnostic system for

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