On Non-Prioritized Multiple Belief Revision

Abstract: This thesis investigates a sort of non-prioritized multiple revision, the operation of making up one's mind, and its generalization, the operation of choice revision. Making up one's mind about a sentence is a belief change that takes the agent to a belief state in which either the sentence or its negation is believed. In choice revision, the input information is represented by a set of sentences, and the agent should make a choice on which sentences to be accepted. Apart from being practically important, these operations are technically interesting since the standard approach of intersecting a set of optimal outcomes is not workable.Paper I provides a construction based on descriptor revision in which the operation of making up one's mind can be modelled in a ``select-direct'' way, which is different from the traditional ``select-and-intersect'' methodology employed in the AGM model. The article shows that this construction is axiomatically characterized with a set of plausible postulates, and investigates the additional postulates that correlate with properties of the construction.Paper II investigates a new modelling for sentential belief revision operations, which is based on a set of relations on sentences named believability relations. It demonstrates that two special kinds of such relations, i.e. H-believability relations and basic believability relations, are faithful alternative models of two typical sentential revision generated from descriptor revision. It also shows that traditional AGM revision operations can be reconstructed from a strengthened variant of the basic believability relation and there exists a close connection between this strengthened believability relation and the standard epistemic entrenchment relation.Paper III studies the constructions of choice revision based on descriptor revision and multiple believability relations, which extends the domain of believability relations from sentences to sets of sentences. It is shown that each of two variants of choice revision based on descriptor revision is axiomatically characterized with a set of plausible postulates, assuming that the object language is finite. Furthermore, without assuming a finite language, it is shown that choice revision constructed from multiple believability relations is axiomatically characterized with the same sets of postulates proposed for choice revision derived from descriptor revision, whenever these relations satisfy certain rationality conditions.Paper IV explores choice revision on belief bases. A generalized version of expansion operation called partial expansion is introduced for developing models of this kind of choice revision. Based on the partial expansion as well as two multiple contraction operations from the literature, two kinds of choice revision operators on belief bases are constructed. This paper proposes several postulates for such two operators and shows that they can be axiomatically characterized by such postulates. Furthermore, it investigates two kinds of making up one's mind operators generated from these two choice revision operators and presents the axiomatic characterizations of them.