Deep neural networks (DNNs) refer to predictive models that exploit multiple layers of artificial neurons to compute a prediction [1,4]. In the original version, the layers are sequential and each neuron in a layer is connected with neurons in the previous layer. Many other alternative architectures have been proposed to adapt DNNs to solve specific and complex problems.
On the other hand, a theory called Dempster-Shafer theory of belief functions, or theory of evidence , has emerged as a rich and flexible generalization of the Bayesian probability theory, able to deal with imperfect (uncertain, imprecise, …) information. It is notably used in a growing number of applications such as classification (e.g. ), clustering (e.g. [3,7]) or information fusion (e.g. [5,13]).
Recent works [6,16,17] have shown the interest of enriching a DNN with an additional distance-based Dempster Shafer layer  for predicting belief functions. These belief functions can be of great interest to represent a reality as faithfully as possible, for example to perform a partial classification , i.e. decisions in favor of a group of classes.
The main idea of this thesis is to develop such deep evidential networks in more depth by exploiting methods developed at LGI2A allowing one to consider finer knowledge about the quality [12, 14] and the dependence of information , or the ignorance in predictions [9,10].
Two applications are envisaged: Image analysis from drones and fish population analysis.
This thesis is co-financed by the Hauts-de-France region and the Artois University.
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