Threshold-Based Belief Change

Rankings and Semiorders




In this paper we study changes of beliefs in a ranking-theoretic setting using non-extremal implausibility thresholds for belief.  We represent implausibilities as ranks and introduce natural rank changes subject to a minimal change criterion. We show that many of the traditional AGM postulates for revision and contraction are preserved, except for the postulate of Preservation which is invalid. The diagnosis for belief contraction is similar, but not exactly the same. We demonstrate that the one-shot versions of both revision and contraction can be represented as revisions based on semiorders, but in two subtly different ways. We provide sets of postulates that are sound and complete in the sense that they allow us to prove representation theorems.  We show that, and explain why, the classical duality between revision and contraction, as exhibited by the Levi and Harper identities, is partly broken by threshold-based belief changes. We also study the logic of iterated threshold-based revision and contraction. The traditional Darwiche-Pearl postulates for iterated revision continue to hold, as well as two additional postulates that characterize ranking-based revision as a restricted `improvement' operator. We investigate the dual notion of iterated threshold-based belief contraction and provide a new set of postulates for it, characterizing contraction as a restricted 'degrading' operator.


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Author Biographies

Eric Raidl, Cluster of Excellence "Machine Learning", University of Tübingen

Postdoctoral researcher

Hans Rott, Department of Philosophy, University of Regensburg