## A Logic for Reasoning about Probabilities (1990)

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Venue: | Information and Computation |

Citations: | 214 - 20 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Fagin90alogic,

author = {Ronald Fagin and Joseph Y. Halpern and Nimrod Meciddo},

title = {A Logic for Reasoning about Probabilities},

journal = {Information and Computation},

year = {1990},

volume = {87},

pages = {78--128}

}

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### Abstract

We consider a language for reasoning about probability which allows us to make statements such as “the probability of E, is less than f ” and “the probability of E, is at least twice the probability of E,, ” where E, and EZ are arbitrary events. We consider the case where all events are measurable (i.e., represent measurable sets) and the more general case, which is also of interest in practice, where they may not be measurable. The measurable case is essentially a formalization of (the proposi-tional fragment of) Nilsson’s probabilistic logic. As we show elsewhere, the general (nonmeasurable) case corresponds precisely to replacing probability measures by Dempster-Shafer belief functions. In both cases, we provide a complete axiomatiza-tion and show that the problem of deciding satistiability is NP-complete, no worse than that of propositional logic. As a tool for proving our complete axiomatiza-tions, we give a complete axiomatization for reasoning about Boolean combina-tions of linear inequalities, which is of independent interest. This proof and others make crucial use of results from the theory of linear programming. We then extend the language to allow reasoning about conditional probability and show that the resulting logic is decidable and completely axiomatizable, by making use of the theory of real closed fields. ( 1990 Academic Press. Inc 1.