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Constraint Processing by Rina Dechter

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chapter 14

Probabilistic Networks

It’s choice—not chance—that determines your destiny.

Jean Nidetch

So far we have dealt with hard, deterministic constraints or with preferences expressed via a cost function in a constraint optimization framework. Yet, many real-life problems involve substantial uncertainty that cannot be captured by categorical constraints. The main source of uncertainty is lack of knowledge about the problem domain. This lack of knowledge may be due to user’s ignorance or due to an inherent inability to acquire the necessary knowledge. For example, in medical diagnosis, the uncertainty in precisely predicting the symptoms of a disease arises from the inability to model every factor associated with the disease.

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