, Volume 117, Issue 1, pp 75-93

Common Sense and Maximum Entropy

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This paper concerns the question of how to draw inferences common sensically from uncertain knowledge. Since the early work of Shore and Johnson (1980), Paris and Vencovská (1990), and Csiszár (1989), it has been known that the Maximum Entropy Inference Process is the only inference process which obeys certain common sense principles of uncertain reasoning. In this paper we consider the present status of this result and argue that within the rather narrow context in which we work this complete and consistent mode of uncertain reasoning is actually characterised by the observance of just a single common sense principle (or slogan).

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.