Effects of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic

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The role of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic is crucial. An aspect that requires particular attention in the analysis of misinfodemics is the rationale of the source of false information, in particular how the behavior of agents spreading misinformation through traditional communication outlets and social networks can influence the diffusion of the disease. We studied the process of false information transmission by malicious agents, in the context of a disease pandemic based on data for the COVID-19 emergency in Italy. We model communication of misinformation based on a negative trust relation, supported by findings in the literature that relate the endorsement of conspiracy theories with low trust level towards institutions. We provide an agent-based simulation and consider the effects of a misinfodemic on policies related to lockdown strategies, isolation, protection and distancing measures, and overall negative impact on society during a pandemic. Our analysis shows that there is a clear impact by misinfodemics in aggravating the results of a current pandemic.

KEYWORDS  Misinformation, Misinfodemics, Multi-Agent Systems

Prandi, L., Primiero, G. Effects of misinformation diffusion during a pandemic. Appl Netw Sci 5, 82 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41109-020-00327-6 (Open Access)

Boolean algebras of conditionals, probability and logic

This paper presents an investigation on the structure of conditional events and on the probability measures which arise naturally in this context. In particular we introduce a construction which defines a (finite) Boolean algebra of conditionals from any (finite) Boolean algebra of events. By doing so we distinguish the properties of conditional events which depend on probability and those which are intrinsic to the logico-algebraic structure of conditionals. Our main result provides a way to regard standard two-place conditional probabilities as one-place probability functions on conditional events. We also consider a logical counterpart of our Boolean algebras of conditionals with links to preferential consequence relations for non-monotonic reasoning. The overall framework of this paper provides a novel perspective on the rich interplay between logic and probability in the representation of conditional knowledge.

KEYWORDS Conditional probability; conditional events; Boolean algebras; preferential consequence relations

T. Flaminio, L. Godo and  H. Hosni. (2020). “Boolean algebras of conditionals, probability and logic” Artificial Intelligence.  doi.org/10.1016/j.artint.2020.103347 (Open Access)

A Logic of Negative Trust

We present a logic to model the behaviour of an agent trusting or not trusting messages sent by another agent. The logic formalizes trust as a consistency checking function with respect to currently available information. Negative trust is modeled in two forms: distrust as the rejection of incoming inconsistent information; mistrust, as revision of previously held information becoming undesirable in view of new incoming inconsistent information, which the agent wishes to accept. We provide a natural deduction calculus, a relational semantics and prove soundness and completeness results. We overview a number of applications which have been investigated for the proof-theoretical formulation of the logic.

G.Primiero, A Logic of Negative Trust, Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logic,
https://doi.org/10.1080/11663081.2020.1789404

A Fully Rational Account of Structured Argumentation Under Resource Bounds

ASPIC+ is an established general framework for argumentation and non-monotonic reasoning. However ASPIC+ does not satisfy the non-contamination rationality postulates, and moreover, tacitly assumes unbounded resources when demonstrating satisfaction of the consistency postulates. In this paper we present a new version of ASPIC+ – Dialectical ASPIC+ – that is fully rational under resource bounds.

M. D’Agostino and S. Modgil. A Fully Rational Account of Structured Argumentation Under Resource Bounds. Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-20)

IJCAI, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, is the premier conference for the international AI community to communicate the advances and achievements of AI research. 
IJCAI-PRICAI20 received  4717 valid submissions, of which only 592 have been accepted, for a record-low overall acceptance rate of 12.6%.

Depth-bounded Belief Functions

This paper introduces and investigates Depth-bounded Belief functions, a logic-based representation of quantified uncertainty. Depth-bounded Belief functions are based on the framework of Depth-bounded Boolean logics, which provide a hierarchy of approximations to classical logic. Similarly, Depth-bounded Belief functions give rise to a hierarchy of increasingly tighter lower and upper bounds over classical measures of uncertainty. This has the rather welcome consequence that “higher logical abilities” lead to sharper uncertainty quantification. In particular, our main results identify the conditions under which Dempster-Shafer Belief functions and probability functions can be represented as a limit of a suitable sequence of Depth-bounded Belief functions.

KEYWORDS: Belief functions; Uncertain reasoning; Depth-bounded logics; Probability.

P. Baldi and H. Hosni. (2020). “Depth-bounded Belief FunctionsInternatonal Journal of Approximate Reasoning, Volume 123, August 2020, Pages 26-40. doi.org/10.1016/j.ijar.2020.05.001 (Open Access)