DOI: 10.3390/e25091283 ISSN:

Systems of Precision: Coherent Probabilities on Pre-Dynkin Systems and Coherent Previsions on Linear Subspaces

Rabanus Derr, Robert C. Williamson
  • General Physics and Astronomy

In the literature on imprecise probability, little attention is paid to the fact that imprecise probabilities are precise on a set of events. We call these sets systems of precision. We show that, under mild assumptions, the system of precision of a lower and upper probability form a so-called (pre-)Dynkin system. Interestingly, there are several settings, ranging from machine learning on partial data over frequential probability theory to quantum probability theory and decision making under uncertainty, in which, a priori, the probabilities are only desired to be precise on a specific underlying set system. Here, (pre-)Dynkin systems have been adopted as systems of precision, too. We show that, under extendability conditions, those pre-Dynkin systems equipped with probabilities can be embedded into algebras of sets. Surprisingly, the extendability conditions elaborated in a strand of work in quantum probability are equivalent to coherence from the imprecise probability literature. On this basis, we spell out a lattice duality which relates systems of precision to credal sets of probabilities. We conclude the presentation with a generalization of the framework to expectation-type counterparts of imprecise probabilities. The analogue of pre-Dynkin systems turns out to be (sets of) linear subspaces in the space of bounded, real-valued functions. We introduce partial expectations, natural generalizations of probabilities defined on pre-Dynkin systems. Again, coherence and extendability are equivalent. A related but more general lattice duality preserves the relation between systems of precision and credal sets of probabilities.

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