Updating Probability: Tracking Statistics as Criterion

Authors
Bas C. Van Fraassen
San Francisco State University
Joseph Y. Halpern
Cornell University
Abstract
ABSTRACT For changing opinion, represented by an assignment of probabilities to propositions, the criterion proposed is motivated by the requirement that the assignment should have, and maintain, the possibility of matching in some appropriate sense statistical proportions in a population. This ‘tracking’ criterion implies limitations on policies for updating in response to a wide range of types of new input. Satisfying the criterion is shown equivalent to the principle that the prior must be a convex combination of the possible posteriors. Furthermore, this is equivalent to the requirement that prior expected values must fall inside the range spanned by possible posterior expected values. The tracking criterion is liberal; it allows for, but does not require, a policy such as Bayesian conditionalization, and can be offered as a general constraint on policies for managing opinion over time. Examples are given of non-Bayesian policies, both ones that satisfy and ones that violate the criterion. _1_ Introduction _2_ Alternative Updating Policies _3_ Modelling the Situation for Normal Updating _4_ Tracking: A Criterion for Updating Policies _5_ Tracking: Precise Formulation and Relation to Convexity _6_ The Spanning Criterion _7_ Non-Bayesian Policies that Satisfy the Spanning and Tracking Criteria _8_ Policies that Violate the Spanning and Tracking Criteria Appendix Appendix
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axv027
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References found in this work BETA

A Problem for Relative Information Minimizers in Probability Kinematics.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1981 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (4):375-379.
Entropy and Uncertainty.Teddy Seidenfeld - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (4):467-491.

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