Automatic updates of transition potential matrices in dempster-shafer networks based on evidence inputs

Joel Dunham, Eric Johnson, Eric Feron, Brian German

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sensor fusion is a topic central to aerospace engineering and is particularly applicable to unmanned aerial systems (UAS). Evidential Reasoning, also known as Dempster-Shafer theory, is used heavily in sensor fusion for detection classification. High computing requirements typically limit use on small UAS platforms. Valuation networks, the general name given to evidential reasoning networks by Shenoy, provides a means to reduce computing requirements through knowledge structure. However, these networks use conditional probabilities or transition potential matrices to describe the relationships between nodes, which typically require expert information to define and update. This paper proposes and tests a novel method to learn these transition potential matrices based on evidence injected at nodes. Novel refinements to the method are also introduced, demonstrating improvements in capturing the relationships between the node belief distributions. Finally, novel rules are introduced and tested for evidence weighting at nodes during simultaneous evidence injections, correctly balancing the injected evidenced used to learn the transition potential matrices. Together, these methods enable updating a Dempster-Shafer network with significantly less user input, thereby making these networks more useful for scenarios in which sufficient information concerning relationships between nodes is not known a priori.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3727
Pages (from-to)1-37
Number of pages37
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry


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