This paper presents a generalized methodology for propagating known or
estimated levels of individual source document truth reliability to determine
the confidence level of a combined output. Initial document certainty levels
are augmented by (i) combining the reliability measures of multiply sources,
(ii) incorporating the truth reinforcement of related elements, and (iii) incorporating
the importance of the individual elements for determining the probability
of truth for the whole. The result is a measure of confidence in system
output based on the establishing of links among the truth values of inputs.
This methodology was developed for application to a multi-component situation
awareness tool under development at the Air Force Research Laboratory
in Rome, New York. Determining how improvements in data quality and the
variety of documents collected affect the probability of a correct situational
detection helps optimize the performance of the tool overall.