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Article

Decompositional approach for evaluation of internal conflict in the framework of the evidence theory

The concept of conflict is one of the central in the belief functions theory. There are differences between external and internal conflicts. A new method for estimating the internal conflict is proposed and studied in this paper. This method assumes that the original body of evidence was derived from simpler evidence using some combining rule. Therefore, an internal conflict can be considered as an external conflict of decomposition of the original body of evidence. This approach is specified in the article for decomposition by the Dempster rule and decomposition by the disjunctive consensus rule. The possible limits of change of the internal conflict are found in the case of these two combining rules for single-focal (categorical) and two-focal bodies of evidence. The decomposition method is discussed in detail for the case of a universal set with two alternatives.