Combining conflicting evidence using the DEMATEL method

  • Weiquan Zhang
  • Yong DengEmail author
Methodologies and Application


Dempster–Shafer evidence theory is widely used in the information fusion field for its effectivity in representing and handling uncertain information. However, applications of Dempster rule in combining multiple conflicting evidence often cause counterintuitive results. One of the existing researches on conflict is based on the similarity of evidence. However, due to the fact that computational complexity of the existing methods is large, it is difficult to meet the real-time requirements of systems. Therefore, new effective methods with acceptable expense should be explored. In this article, following the idea of modifying the source model of evidence, a new method based on DEMATEL is proposed to take the weight of each evidence into consideration. First, the total-relation matrix is determined by the similarity among evidence. Second, prominence and importance are calculated. Finally, the weighted average combination result can be obtained based on Dempster’s rule of combination. Numerical examples are used to demonstrate that the proposed model is efficient to both deals with conflicting evidence and reduce computational complexity.


Dempster–Shafer evidence theory Conflict management DEMATEL Belief function 



The work is partially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61573290, 61503237). The authors greatly appreciate the reviews’ suggestions and the editor’s encouragement.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence our work, there is no professional or other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product, service and/or company that could be construed as influencing the position presented in, or the review of, the manuscript entitled.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina
  2. 2.Institute of Fundamental and Frontier ScienceUniversity of Electronic Science and Technology of ChinaChengduChina

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