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Machine Learning with Java

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Certainty Factor in Artificial Intelligence

This tutorial is all about the certainty factor, which tells us about how much a situation, is likely to come true. Through this, we can determine an estimate of the amount of certainty or uncertainty in our decisions. In this tutorial, we are going to study about what certainty factor is and how it is determined for a particular statement? By Monika Sharma Last updated : April 15, 2023


As we all know that when analyzing a situation and drawing certain results about it in the real world, we cannot be cent percent sure about our conclusions. There is some uncertainty in it for sure. We as human beings have the capability of deciding whether the statement is true or false according to how much certain we are about our observations. But machines do not have this analyzing power. So, there needs to be some method to quantize this estimate of certainty or uncertainty in any decision made. To implement this method, the certainty factor was introduced for systems which work on Artificial Intelligence.

Certainty Factor in AI

The Certainty Factor (CF) is a numeric value which tells us about how likely an event or a statement is supposed to be true. It is somewhat similar to what we define in probability, but the difference in it is that an agent after finding the probability of any event to occur cannot decide what to do. Based on the probability and other knowledge that the agent has, this certainty factor is decided through which the agent can decide whether to declare the statement true or false.

The value of the Certainty factor lies between -1.0 to +1.0, where the negative 1.0 value suggests that the statement can never be true in any situation, and the positive 1.0 value defines that the statement can never be false. The value of the Certainty factor after analyzing any situation will either be a positive or a negative value lying between this range. The value 0 suggests that the agent has no information about the event or the situation.

A minimum Certainty factor is decided for every case through which the agent decides whether the statement is true or false. This minimum Certainty factor is also known as the threshold value. For example, if the minimum certainty factor (threshold value) is 0.4, then if the value of CF is less than this value, then the agent claims that particular statement false.

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