The Belief Functions and Applications Society

Promoting teaching, research, applications and creation of knowledge in the domain of Belief Functions

About BFAS

The Belief functions and Applications society (BFAS) was created to promote teaching, research, applications and creation of knowledge in the domain of belief functions, their extensions, and the links they can share with other uncertain theories such as probability theory, imprecise probability theory, probability boxes, possibility theory, fuzzy sets, random sets, ...

The society was born in 2010 at the occasion of the first conference on the theory of belief functions, which was held in Brest, France, with Arthur P. Dempster and Glenn Shafer as honorary chairs and invited speakers.

The organization can use any means or technique adapted to the realization of its goals, like establishing conventions with public, semi-public or private organizations, with physical or moral persons. In particular, it supports the organization of a biennial international conference and a biennial international school both on belief functions and their applications.

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What is a Belief Function?

If we trace them back to Arthur P. Dempster's works, belief functions were initially proposed as a way to achieve generalized Bayesian inference without priors. They are mathematically related to random sets.

In general, belief functions are used as a way to model uncertainty where imprecision, or lack of knowledge has to be modelled explicitly. As a matter-of-fact, they combine set representation and distribution representation to do so.

Glenn Shafer's seminal book as well as the lectures given to BFAS schools, constitute good introductions.

Conferences

2024, Belfast, UK
- The 8th International Conference on Belief Functions will be held in Belfast, United Kingdom, on September 4th-6th, 2024.
2022, Paris, France
- The 7th International Conference on Belief Functions took place on October 26th-28th in Paris, France.
2021, Shanghai, China
- The 6th International Conference on Belief Functions took place on October 15th-17th in Shanghai, China, together with the International Conference on Cognitive analytics, Granular computing, and Three-way decisions (CCGT).
2018, Compiègne, France
- The 5th International Conference on Belief Functions took place on September 17th-21st in Compiègne, France, together with the SMPS (Soft Methods in Probability and Statistics) conference.
2016, Prague, Czech Republic
- The 4th International Conference on Belief Functions took place on September 21st-23th in Prague, Czech Republic.
2014, Oxford, United Kingdom
- The 3rd International Conference on Belief Functions took place on September 26th-28th in Oxford, United Kingdom.
2012, Compiègne, France
- The 2nd International Conference on Belief Functions took place on May 8th-10th in Compiègne, France.
2010, Brest, France
- The 1st International Conference on Belief Functions took place on April 1st-2nd in Brest, France.

Schools and learning materials

2023, Ishikawa, Japan
- The 6th school on belief functions and their applications took place on October 27th - November 1st in Ishikawa, Japan. [Lectures]
2019, Siena, Italy
- The 5th school on belief functions and their applications took place on October 27th-31st in La Certosa di Pontignano, Siena, Italy. [Lectures][Exercises][Solutions][Report]
2017, Xi'an, China
- The 4th school on belief functions and their applications took place on July 5th-9th in Xi'an, China. [Lectures]
2015, Stella Plage, France
- The 3rd school on belief functions and their applications took place on September 28th to October 2nd in Stella Plage, France. [Lectures] [Report]
2013, Carthage, Tunisia
- The 2nd school on belief functions and their applications took place on May 20th-24th in Carthage, Tunisia. [Lectures]
2011, Autrans, France
- The 1st school on belief functions and their applications took place on April 4th-8th in Autrans, France. [Lectures]

Members

The organization is composed of physical and moral persons. All members have the right to vote during the assemblies. Conventions may be contracted with other non-profit organization to establish reciprocal cooperation links, allowing their members to join with specific conditions.

New members are welcome. If you intend to do so, you may either participate to a BFAS conference or a BFAS school, membership being valid during 4 years, or contact us, members of the board will then be pleased to study your candidacy. Be aware that a quadrennial fee is asked (20€ at the moment).

General Assembly Reports

Software and toolboxes

A list of links to find software and toolboxes to facilitate the development and handling of belief functions.

Link Language Author(s) Comment
TBM MATLAB Philippe Smets TBM, FMT
Software R and MATLAB Thierry Denœux Clustering, Distance-based Classification, Approximation
iBelief R Kuang Zhou and Arnaud Martin Some basic functions to implement belief functions.
Belief Package R Sébastien Destercke Some basic functions to deal with discrete belief functions.
pyds Python Thomas Reineking A Python library for performing calculations in the Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence.
evclust Python Armel Soubeiga Various clustering algorithms that produce a credal partition

Imprecise and uncertain Data Sets

Link Author(s) Comment
Real Birds Constance Thierry Real Bird Dataset with Imprecise and Uncertain Values
Credal Dog-7 Arthur Hoarau, Constance Thierry, Arnaud Martin, Jean-Christophe Dubois and Yolande Le Gall Datasets with rich labels for machine learning

Board of directors


Thierry Denœux

Thierry Denœux (President)

Professor, Compiègne University of Technology, France.

Zied Elouedi

Zied Elouedi (Communication)

Professor, Institut Supérieur de Gestion Tunis, Tunisia.

Anne-Laure Jousselme

Anne-Laure Jousselme (Secretary)

Research Director, CS Research Lab, CS Group, France.

Sylvie Le Hegarat-Mascle

Sylvie Le Hegarat-Mascle

Professor at University Paris-Saclay, France.

Zhunga Liu

Zhunga Liu (Webmaster)

Professor, School of Automation, Northwestern Polytechnical University Xi'an, China.

David Mercier

David Mercier (Webmaster)

Professor, Artois University, France.

Frédéric Pichon

Frédéric Pichon (Treasurer)

Professor, Artois University, France.

Prakash Shenoy

Prakash Shenoy

Ronald G. Harper Distinguished Professor of Artificial Intelligence, School of Business University of Kansas, USA.

Zhi-gang Su

Zhi-gang Su

Professor, School of Energy and Environment, Southeast University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Previous board members

2011-2023: Johan Schubert (LinkedIn Group)
2012-2017, 2019-2023: Sebastien Destercke (secretary 2012-2017)
2013-2021: Fabio Cuzzolin (communication)
2010-2019: Arnaud Martin (president 2010-2012, treasurer 2012-2017)
2010-2017: Boutheina Ben Yaghlane
2013-2017: Thanuka Wickramarathne
2011-2013: Rajendra P. Srivastava
2010-2012: Gavin Powell (secretary 2010-2012)
2010-2012: Christophe Osswald (treasurer 2010-2012)
2010-2012: Alain Hillion

CONTACTS

LinkedIn Group     secretary@bfasociety.org     BFAS Youtube Channel