# Dempster Shafer (D-S) Theory

The theory of belief functions, also referred to as evidence theory or Dempster–Shafer theory (DST), is a general framework for reasoning with uncertainty, with understood connections to other frameworks such as probability, possibility and imprecise probability theories. First introduced by Arthur P. Dempster[1] in the context of statistical inference, the theory was later developed by Glenn Shafer into a general framework for modeling epistemic uncertainty—a mathematical theory of evidence.[2][3] The theory allows one to combine evidence from different sources and arrive at a degree of belief (represented by a mathematical object called belief function) that takes into account all the available evidence.[1]

The Dempster-Shafer theory, also known as the theory of belief functions, is a generalization of the Bayesian theory of subjective probability. Whereas the Bayesian theory requires probabilities for each question of interest, belief functions allow us to base degrees of belief for one question on probabilities for a related question. These degrees of belief may or may not have the mathematical properties of probabilities; how much they differ from probabilities will depend on how closely the two questions are related.[2]