Perspectives on the theory and practice of belief functions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


The theory of belief functions is a generalization of the Bayesian theory of subjective probability judgement. The author's 1976 book, A Mathematical Theory of Evidence, is still a standard reference for this theory, but it is concerned primarily with mathematical foundations. Since 1976, considerable work has been done on interpretation and implementation of the theory. This article reviews this work, as well as newer work on mathematical foundations. It also considers the place of belief functions within the broader topic of probability and the place of probability within the larger set of formalisms used by artificial intelligence.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-362
Number of pages40
JournalInternational Journal of Approximate Reasoning
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Bayesian theory
  • Dempster-Shafer theory
  • belief functions
  • independence
  • inner measures
  • interactive systems
  • join trees
  • lower probabilities
  • multivalued mappings
  • probability propagation
  • random sets
  • statistical inference


Dive into the research topics of 'Perspectives on the theory and practice of belief functions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this