Exploiting Functional Dependencies in Qualitative Probabilistic Reasoning

27 Mar 2013  ·  Michael P. Wellman ·

Functional dependencies restrict the potential interactions among variables connected in a probabilistic network. This restriction can be exploited in qualitative probabilistic reasoning by introducing deterministic variables and modifying the inference rules to produce stronger conclusions in the presence of functional relations. I describe how to accomplish these modifications in qualitative probabilistic networks by exhibiting the update procedures for graphical transformations involving probabilistic and deterministic variables and combinations. A simple example demonstrates that the augmented scheme can reduce qualitative ambiguity that would arise without the special treatment of functional dependency. Analysis of qualitative synergy reveals that new higher-order relations are required to reason effectively about synergistic interactions among deterministic variables.

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