## Certainty Factor

A **certainty factor** (CF) is a numerical value that expresses a degree of subjective belief that a particular item is true. The item may be a fact or a rule. When probabilities are used attention must be paid to the underlying assumptions and probability distributions in order to show validity. Bayes’ rule can be used to combine probability measures.

Suppose that a certainty is defined to be a real number between -1.0 and +1.0, where 1.0 represents complete certainty that an item is true and -1.0 represents complete certainty that an item is false. Here a CF of 0.0 indicates that no information is available about either the truth or the falsity of an item. Hence positive values indicate a degree of belief or evidence that an item is true, and negative values indicate the opposite belief. Moreover it is common to select a positive number that represents a minimum threshold of belief in the truth of an item. For example, 0.2 is a commonly chosen threshold value.