Journal of Automated Reasoning

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 263–283 | Cite as

Incidence calculus: A mechanism for probabilistic reasoning

  • Alan Bundy


Mechanisms for the automation of uncertainty are required for expert systems. Sometimes these mechanisms need to obey the properties of probabilistic reasoning. We argue that a purely numeric mechanism, like those proposed so far, cannot provide a probabilistic logic with truth functional connectives. We propose an alternative mechanism, Incidence Calculus, which is based on a representation of uncertainty using sets of points, which might represent situations models or possible worlds. Incidence Calculus does provide a probabilistic logic with truth functional connectives.


Incidence Calculus probability uncertainty logic expert systems inference 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [Bundy 85] Bundy, A., Correctness criteria of some algorithms for uncertain reasoning using Incidence Calculus. Research Paper, Dept. of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh, 1985. Submitted to the Journal of Automated Reasoning.Google Scholar
  2. [Corlett and Todd 85] Corlett, R. A. and Todd, S. J., ‘A Monte-Carlo approach to uncertain inference’. In Ross, P. (editor). Proceedings of AISB-85, pp. 28–34 (1985)Google Scholar
  3. [Duda et al. 78] Duda, R. O., Hart, P. E., Nilsson, N. J. and Sutherland, G. L., ‘Semantic network representations in rule-based inference systems’. In Waterman, D. and Hayes-Roth, F. (editors), Pattern-directed Inference Systems, pp. 203–221. Academic Press (1978).Google Scholar
  4. [Feller 68] Feller, W. An Introduction to Probability Theory and Its Applications. John Wiley & Sons, Third Edition (1968).Google Scholar
  5. [Lowrance and Garvey 82] Lowrance, J. D. and Garvey, T. D., ‘Evidential reasoning: A developing concept’. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Cybernetics and Society, pp. 6–9. IEEE (1982).Google Scholar
  6. [Nilsson 84] Nilsson, N., Probabilistic Logic. Technical Note 321, SRI International (1984)Google Scholar
  7. [Shortliffe 76] Shortliffe, E. H., Computer-based Medical Consultations: MYCIN. North Holland (1976).Google Scholar
  8. [Zadeh 81] Zadeh, L. ‘PRUF-a meaning representational language for natural languages’. In Mamdani, E. and Gaines, B. (editors) Fuzzy reasoning and its applications. Academic Press (1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Bundy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Artificial IntelligenceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

Personalised recommendations