Journal Article

Evidence combination based on credal belief redistribution for pattern classification


Evidence theory, also called belief functions theory, provides an efficient tool to represent and combine uncertain information for pattern classification. Evidence combination can be interpreted, in some applications, as classifier fusion. The sources of evidence corresponding to multiple classifiers usually exhibit different classification qualities, and they are often discounted using different weights before combination. In order to achieve the best possible fusion performance, a new Credal Belief Redistribution (CBR) method is proposed to revise such evidence. The rationale of CBR consists in transferring belief from one class not just to other classes but also to the associated disjunctions of classes (i.e., meta-classes). As classification accuracy for different objects in a given classifier can also vary, the evidence is revised according to prior knowledge mined from its training neighbors. If the selected neighbors are relatively close to the evidence, a large amount of belief will be discounted for redistribution. Otherwise, only a small fraction of belief will enter the redistribution procedure. An imprecision matrix estimated based on these neighbors is employed to specifically redistribute the discounted beliefs. This matrix expresses the likelihood of misclassification (i.e., the probability of a test pattern belonging to a class different from the one assigned to it by the classifier). In CBR, the discounted beliefs are divided into two parts. One part is transferred between singleton classes, whereas the other is cautiously committed to the associated meta-classes. By doing this, one can efficiently reduce the chance of misclassification by modeling partial imprecision. The multiple revised pieces of evidence are finally combined by Dempster-Shafer rule to reduce uncertainty and further improve classification accuracy. The effectiveness of CBR is extensively validated on several real datasets from the UCI repository, and critically compared with that of other related fusion methods.

Attached files


Liu, Zhun-ga
Liu, Yu
Dezert, Jean
Cuzzolin, Fabio

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment\School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-04-16

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Evidence combination based on credal belief redistribution for pattern classification


  • Owner: Joseph Ripp
  • Collection: Outputs
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live