Fuzzy Logic? Why? Where?


Today many household appliances have fuzzy logic built into them to make their use easier. You can find fuzzy logic in shower heads, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, and just about everywhere.

Here is a list of general observations about fuzzy logic:

Fuzzy logic is conceptually easy to understand.

The mathematical concepts behind fuzzy reasoning are very simple. What makes fuzzy nice is the “naturalness” of its approach and not its far-reaching complexity.

Fuzzy logic is flexible.

With any given system, it’s easy to massage it or layer more functionality on top of it without starting again from scratch.

Fuzzy logic is tolerant of imprecise data.

Everything is imprecise if you look closely enough, but more than that, most things are imprecise even on careful inspection. Fuzzy reasoning builds this understanding into the process rather than tacking it onto the end.

Fuzzy logic can model nonlinear functions of arbitrary complexity.

You can create a fuzzy system to match any set of input-output data. This process is made particularly easy by adaptive techniques like ANFIS (Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference Systems), which are available in the Fuzzy Logic Toolbox.

Fuzzy logic can be built on top of the experience of experts.

In direct contrast to neural networks, which take training data and generate opaque, impenetrable models, fuzzy logic lets you rely on the experience of people who already understand your system.

Fuzzy logic can be blended with conventional control techniques.

Fuzzy systems don’t necessarily replace conventional control methods. In many cases fuzzy systems augment them and simplify their implementation.

Fuzzy logic is based on natural language.

The basis for fuzzy logic is the basis for human communication. This observation underpins many of the other statements about fuzzy logic.

The last statement is perhaps the most important one and deserves more discussion. Natural language, that which is used by ordinary people on a daily basis, has been shaped by thousands of years of human history to be convenient and efficient. Sentences written in ordinary language represent a triumph of efficient communication. We are generally unaware of this because ordinary language is, of course, something we use every day. Since fuzzy logic is built atop the structures of qualitative description used in everyday language, fuzzy logic is easy to use.

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