The `evreg`

package implements ENNreg (Denœux 2022) (Denœux
2023b), a neural network model for regression in which prediction
uncertainty is quantified by Gaussian random fuzzy numbers (GRFNs), a
newly introduced family of random fuzzy subsets of the real line that
generalizes both Gaussian random variables and Gaussian possibility
distributions (Denœux 2023a). The output
GRFN is constructed by combining GRFNs induced by prototypes using a
combination operator that generalizes Dempster’s rule of Evidence
Theory. The three output units indicate the most plausible value of the
response variable, variability around this value, and epistemic
uncertainty. The network is trained by minimizing a loss function that
generalizes the negative log-likelihood.

The `evreg`

package contains functions for training the
ENNreg model in batch or online mode, tuning hyperparameters by
cross-validation or the hold-out method, and making predictions. It also
contains utilities for making calculations with GRFNs (such as, e.g.,
computing the degrees of belief and plausibility of an interval, or
combining GRFNs).

The user is invited to read the papers cited in this vignette to get
familiar with the main concepts underlying epistemic random fuzzy sets
and evidential regression. These papers can be downloaded from the
author’s web site, at https://www.hds.utc.fr/~tdenoeux/. Here, we provide a
short guided tour of the main functions in the `evreg`

package.

You first need to install this package:

The following sections contain a brief introduction on the way to use
the main functions in the package `evreg`

for evidential
regression.

Let us start by writing a function that generates a dataset similar to that used in Section V.A of (Denœux 2023b):

```
gendat<-function(n){
x<-rep(0,n)
y<-x
for(i in 1:n){
u<-runif(1)
if(u<0.5) x[i]<-runif(1,-3,-1) else x[i]<-runif(1,1,4)
if(x[i]<0) y[i] <- sin(3*x[i])+ x[i]+ sqrt(0.01)* rnorm(1)
else y[i] <- sin(3*x[i])+ x[i]+ sqrt(0.3)* rnorm(1)
}
return(list(x=x,y=y))
}
```

We generate training and test sets of sizes, respectively, 400 and 1000:

Let us determine hyperparameters \(\xi\) and \(\rho\) using cross-validation, with batch training and \(K=30\) prototypes:

```
## $xi
## [1] 0
##
## $rho
## [1] 0.1
##
## $RMS
## [,1] [,2] [,3]
## [1,] 0.4898033 0.4613955 0.4523656
## [2,] 0.4885325 0.4564099 0.4598971
## [3,] 0.4787269 0.4539342 0.4668382
```

We can then train again the model using all the training data and the selected hyperparameters:

Let us now compute the predictions for regularly spaced inputs:

and let us compute belief intervals at levels 50%, 90% and 99%:

We can now plot the results using function `ggplot`

of
package ``ggplot2`

:

```
library(ggplot2)
int<-data.frame(lwr50=int50$INTBel[,1],upr50=int50$INTBel[,2],
lwr90=int90$INTBel[,1],upr90=int90$INTBel[,2],
lwr99=int99$INTBel[,1],upr99=int99$INTBel[,2],
x=xt,mux=pred$mux)
ggplot(data=as.data.frame(train), aes(x = x)) +
geom_point(aes(y = y)) +
geom_ribbon(data=int, aes(ymin = lwr50, ymax = upr50,x=x),alpha=0.2)+
geom_ribbon(data=int, aes(ymin = lwr90, ymax = upr90,x=x),alpha=0.15)+
geom_ribbon(data=int, aes(ymin = lwr99, ymax = upr99,x=x),alpha=0.1) +
geom_line(data=int,aes(x = x,y=mux),color="red",linewidth=1.5)
```

Let us now plot calibration curves for probabilistic and belief prediction intervals. We start by computing the predictions for the test set:

We then compute prediction intervals and their coverage rates for 9 equally spaced levels between 0.1 and 0.9:

```
A<-seq(0.1,0.9,0.1)
nA<-length(A)
probbel<-rep(0,nA)
probp<-rep(0,nA)
for(i in 1:nA){
int<-intervals(pred.tst,A[i],test$y)
probbel[i]<-int$coverage.Bel
probp[i]<-int$coverage.P
}
```

Finally, we can plot the calibration curves:

The `evreg`

package also contains functions for computing
with, and combining GRFNs. For instance, functions `Bel`

and
`Pl`

compute, respectively, the degrees of belief and
plausibility of intervals \([x,y]\).
Let us illustrate the use of these functions for plotting \(Bel([x-r,x+r])\) and \(Pl([x-r,x+r])\) as functions of \(x\), for different values of \(r\). We start by defining the GRFN:

We can then draw the “belief plot”:

```
x<-seq(-4,6,0.01)
plot(x,Bel(x-1,x+1,GRFN),type="l",xlab="x",ylab="Bel([x-r,x+r])",
lwd=2,ylim=c(0,1))
lines(x,Bel(x-0.5,x+0.5,GRFN),lwd=2,lty=2)
lines(x,Bel(x-0.1,x+0.1,GRFN),lwd=2,lty=3)
legend("topright",legend=c("r=1","r=0.5","r=0.1"),lty=c(1,2,3),bty="n")
```

and the “plausibility plot”:

```
plot(x,Pl(x-1,x+1,GRFN),type="l",xlab="x",ylab="Pl([x-r,x+r])",lwd=2,ylim=c(0,1))
lines(x,Pl(x-0.5,x+0.5,GRFN),lwd=2,lty=2)
lines(x,pl_contour(x,GRFN),lwd=2,lty=3)
legend("topright",legend=c("r=1","r=0.5","r=0"),lty=c(1,2,3),bty="n")
```

We can also plot the lower cumulative distribution function (cdf) \(F_*(x)=Bel((-\infty,x])\) and the upper cdf \(F^*(x)=Pl((-\infty,x])\) as follows:

```
plot(x,Bel(-Inf,x,GRFN),type="l",xlab="x",ylab="Lower/upper cdfs",lwd=2)
lines(x,Pl(-Inf,x,GRFN),type="l",lwd=2)
```

Finally, `evreg`

also has a function
`combination_GRFN`

that combines GRFNs using the generalized
product-intersection rule with hard or soft normalization. The rule with
soft normalization was introduced in (Denœux
2023a) and is recommended because it has very appealing
properties (the contour function of the combined random fuzzy sets is
still proportional to the product of the controur functions, a very
useful property of Dempster’s rule preserved with soft normalization).
However, the combination rule with hard normalization is simpler to
compute and is implemented in the ENNreg model (Denœux 2023b). Here is an illustration of the
use of function `combination_GRFN`

with the two normalization
schemes. Let us first define two GRFNs:

and combine them with soft and hard normalization:

```
GRFN12s<-combination_GRFN(GRFN1,GRFN2,soft=TRUE)
GRFN12h<-combination_GRFN(GRFN1,GRFN2,soft=FALSE)
print(GRFN12s$GRFN)
```

```
## $mu
## [1] 0.68
##
## $sig
## [1] 1.077033
##
## $h
## [1] 5
```

```
## $mu
## [1] 0.2
##
## $sig
## [1] 1.612452
##
## $h
## [1] 5
```

We can see that the results are quite different. Here is a plot of the contour functions of the initial and combined GRFNs:

```
x<-seq(-4,6,0.01)
plot(x,pl_contour(x,GRFN1),type="l",xlab="x",ylab="plausibility",lwd=2,
ylim=c(0,1),col="blue")
lines(x,pl_contour(x,GRFN2),lwd=2,lty=1,col="red")
lines(x,pl_contour(x,GRFN12s$GRFN),lwd=2,lty=2,col="green")
lines(x,pl_contour(x,GRFN12h$GRFN),lwd=2,lty=2,col="cyan")
legend("topright",legend=c("GRFN1","GRFN2","soft comb.","hard comb."),
lty=c(1,1,2,2),bty="n",col=c("blue","red","green","cyan"))
```

Denœux, Thierry. 2022. “An Evidential Neural Network Model
for Regression Based on Random Fuzzy Numbers.” In *Belief
Functions: Theory and Applications*, edited by Sylvie Le
Hégarat-Mascle, Isabelle Bloch, and Emanuel Aldea, 57–66. Cham: Springer
International Publishing.

———. 2023a. “Reasoning with Fuzzy and Uncertain Evidence Using
Epistemic Random Fuzzy Sets: General Framework and Practical
Models.” *Fuzzy Sets and Systems* 453: 1–36.

———. 2023b. “Quantifying Prediction
Uncertainty in Regression using Random Fuzzy Sets: the ENNreg
model,” January. https://doi.org/10.36227/techrxiv.21791831.v2.