Inclusion Relationship of Uncertain Sets
 Kai Yao^{1}Email author
DOI: 10.1186/s4046701500375
© Yao. 2015
Received: 26 August 2015
Accepted: 30 August 2015
Published: 21 October 2015
Abstract
Uncertain set is a setvalued function on an uncertainty space, and membership function is used to describe an uncertain set. This paper discusses the inclusion relationship between two uncertain sets and illustrates the relationship via some examples. A formula is derived to calculate the uncertain measure that an uncertain set is included in another one.
Keywords
Uncertain set Membership function Uncertainty theory Inclusion relationshipIntroduction
In order to indicate human’s belief degree on the chance that an event happens, an uncertain measure was defined by Liu [1, 2] as a set function satisfying normality, duality, subadditivity and product axioms. Uncertain set, initialized by Liu [3], is a setvalued function on an uncertainty space to model the unsharp concepts such as “old people” and “heavy vehicles”. In order to describe an uncertain set, a concept of membership function was proposed by Liu [4].
Uncertain sets are the theoretical foundations of uncertain inference control and uncertain logic. In 2010, Liu [3] proposed some inference rules for uncertain systems, which were extended to the rules with multiple antecedents by Gao et al. [5]. Following that, Gao [6] balanced an inverted pendulum by using the uncertain controller. In addition, Peng and Chen [7] showed that the uncertain inference system is a universal approximator. In 2011, Liu [8] applied uncertain set to uncertain logic for dealing with human language by using the truth value formula of uncertain propositions.
The concept of independence for uncertain sets was defined by Liu [9]. Then, the set operational law and arithmetic operational law of independent uncertain sets were given by Liu [4]. The concept of expected value for uncertain set was defined by Liu [3], and formulas to calculate the expected value using the membership function and inverse membership function were given by Liu [10] and Liu [4], respectively. Besides, the variance of uncertain set was proposed by Liu [8] and was investigated by Yang and Gao [11]. In addition, the entropy of uncertain set was presented by Liu [4] and was further studied by Yao and Ke [12], Yao [13], Wang and Ha [14], and Peng and Li [15]. For more details about uncertain sets, please refer to Liu [16] and Yang and Gao [17].
In this paper, we will study the inclusion relationship of uncertain sets. The rest of this paper is organized as follows. The next section is intended to introduce some basic concepts about uncertain sets. Then the inclusion relationship is introduced in Section “Inclusion Relationship”, and a formula to calculate the uncertain measure that an uncertain set is included in another one is derived in Section “Main Results”. Finally, some conclusions are made in Section “Conclusions”.
Preliminary
This section introduces some results about uncertain sets, including the uncertainty space, membership function, independence, and the set operational law.
Definition 1.

Axiom 1: (Normality)

Axiom 2: (Duality) for any ;

Axiom 3: (Subadditivity) For every sequence of we have
In this case, the triple is called an uncertainty space.

Axiom 4: (Product Axiom) Let be uncertainty spaces for k=1,2,⋯ Then the product uncertain measure is an uncertain measure satisfying
where Λ _{ k } are arbitrarily chosen events from for k=1,2,⋯, respectively.
Definition 2.
An uncertain set ξ is called nonempty if .
Definition 3.
(Liu [4]) An uncertain set ξ is said to have a membership function μ if the equations
hold for any Borel set B of real numbers.
Definition 4.
(Liu [9]) The uncertain sets ξ _{1},ξ _{2},⋯,ξ _{ n } are said to be independent if for any Borel sets of real numbers, we have
where \(\xi _{i}^{*}\) are arbitrarily chosen from \(\{\xi _{i},{\xi _{i}^{c}}\},\, i=1,2,\cdots,n,\) respectively.
Theorem 1.
(Liu [4]) Let ξ and η be independent uncertain sets with membership functions μ and ν, respectively. Then the union ξ∪η has a membership function μ(x)∨ν(x), the intersection ξ∩η has a membership function μ(x)∧ν(x), and the complement ξ ^{ c } has a membership function 1−μ(x).
Inclusion Relationship
In this section, we illustrate the inclusion relationship between uncertain sets via some examples.
Example 1.
Then
and
Example 2.
Let ∅ be the empty set, and let ξ be a nonempty uncertain set. Then
and
Example 3.
Let ξ be an uncertain set, and let ℜ be the set of real numbers. Then
Example 4.
Then we have
and
Main Results
In this section, we derive a formula to calculate the uncertain measure that an uncertain set is included in another one.
Theorem 2.
Let ξ and η be two independent uncertain sets with membership functions μ and ν, respectively. Then we have
Proof.
we have
Since ξ∩η ^{ c } has a membership function μ(x)∧(1−ν(x)), it follows from the definition of membership function that
The theorem is proved.
Remark 1.
To my best knowledge, there is not such a formula in the fuzzy set theory to calculate the possibility measure that a fuzzy set is included in another one.
Example 5.
Let ξ be an uncertain set with a triangular membership function (−4,0,4), and let η be an uncertain set with a trapezoidal membership function (−2,−1,1,2). If ξ and η are independent, then
and
Example 6.
Let ξ be an uncertain set with a membership function μ(x), and B be a Borel set. Note that B can be regarded as an uncertain set with a membership function 1_{ B }(x), and it is independent of the uncertain set ξ. Then according to Theorem 2, we have
and
which coincide with Definition 3 of the membership function.
Example 7.
Let B _{1}=[1,3] and B _{2}=[2,4] be two sets of real numbers. Note that they could be regarded as two independent uncertain sets with membership functions \(1_{B_{1}}(x)\) and \(1_{B_{2}}(x)\), respectively. Then we have
and
which coincide with the inclusion relationship of classic sets.
Conclusions
This paper mainly studied the inclusion relationship function of uncertain sets. It gave a formula to calculate the uncertain measure that an uncertain set is included in another one when they are independent.
Declarations
Acknowledgements
This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61403360).
Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Authors’ Affiliations
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