Agents’ model of uncertainty

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Department or Administrative Unit

Computer Science

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Multi-agent systems play an increasing role in sensor networks, software engineering, web design, e-commerce, robotics, and many others areas. Uncertainty is a fundamental property of these areas. Agent-based systems use probabilistic and other uncertainty models developed earlier without explicit consideration of agents. This paper explores the impact of agents on uncertainty models and theories. We compare two methods of introducing agents to uncertainty theories and propose a new theory called the agent-based uncertainty theory (AUT). We show advantages of AUT for advancing multi-agent systems and for solving an internal fundamental question of uncertainty theories, that is identifying coherent approaches to uncertainty. The advantages of AUT are that it provides a uniform agent-based representation and an operational empirical interpretation for several uncertainty theories such as rough set theory, fuzzy sets theory, evidence theory, and probability theory. We show also that the introduction of agents to intuitionist uncertainty formalisms can reduce their conceptual complexity. To build such uniformity the AUT exploits the fact that agents as independent entities can give conflicting evaluations of the same attribute. The AUT is based on complex aggregations of crisp (non-fuzzy) conflicting judgments of agents. The generality of AUT is derived from the logical classification of types (orders) of conflicts in the agent populations. At the first order of conflict, the two agent populations are disjoint and there is no interference of logic values assigned to any statement p and its negation by agents. The second order of conflict models superposition (interference) of logic values for overlapping agent populations where an agent assigns conflicting logic values (true, false) to the same attribute simultaneously.


This article was originally published in Knowledge and Information Systems. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Knowledge and Information Systems


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