Towards the Handling of Uncertainty in Knowledge Discovery in Databases

  • Sarabjot S. Anand
  • John G. Hughes
  • David A. Bell
Part of the Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing book series (STUDFUZZ, volume 39)


In this paper we discuss the role of uncertainty in Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) and discuss the applicability of Evidence Theory towards achieving the goal of handling the uncertainty successfully, incorporating it into the discovery process. We claim that Evidence Theory is suitable for representing and handling uncertainty within KDD and present a case for the same. We discuss, EDM, our framework for KDD based on Evidence Theory. EDM consists of representation methods for data and knowledge and operators on the data and knowledge that together form the discovery process. There are several different types of discovery operators within EDM, however, in this paper we limit our discussion to combination operators. We introduce a combination operator called the Proportional Belief Transfer operator and discuss its properties. In particular, we show how it differs from the well-known Dempster-Shafer Orthogonal Sum. We describe the representational correspondence between EDM and the Rough Set model proposing a 2nd degree of “roughness” with the aim of handling missing information in a decision table. We also discuss how the use of the Rough Set model as a basis for Evidence Theory provides a measure for Residual Variation, i.e. the unexmplained varaition in the data set.


Residual Variation Mass Function Decision Table Decision Attribute Belief Function 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarabjot S. Anand
    • 1
  • John G. Hughes
    • 1
  • David A. Bell
    • 1
  1. 1.Northern Ireland Knowledge Engineering Laboratory School of Information and Software EngineeringUniversity of UlsterNewtownabbey, Co. AntrimNorthern Ireland

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