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Fuzzy Logic

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Fuzzy Logic is an eye-opening book - an exciting tour of a high-tech world where visionary computer scientists are inventing the future, and a disturbing lesson in shortsighted business practices. Imagine tossing your laundry into a "fuzzy" washing machine, pushing a button, and leaving thc machine to do the rest, from measuring out detergent to choosing a wash temperature. Imagine a microwave oven that watches over meals with more sensitivity than a human cook. Imagine a subway system that stops and starts so ...
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Overview

Fuzzy Logic is an eye-opening book - an exciting tour of a high-tech world where visionary computer scientists are inventing the future, and a disturbing lesson in shortsighted business practices. Imagine tossing your laundry into a "fuzzy" washing machine, pushing a button, and leaving thc machine to do the rest, from measuring out detergent to choosing a wash temperature. Imagine a microwave oven that watches over meals with more sensitivity than a human cook. Imagine a subway system that stops and starts so smoothly that passengers don't bother holding on to straps. Futuristic fantasy? No. In Japan, this is reality - and it's starting to explode into our marketplace. Lotfi Zadeh, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, invented fuzzy logic in 1964. Conventional logic divides the world into yes and no, black and white. Fuzzy logic deals in shades of gray. It can thus make computers think like people. But when Zadeh tried to sell his idea to the American academic community and to American companies, he met with ridicule and scorn. Only the Japanese saw the logic of fuzzy logic, and soon such companies as Matsushita and Sony will earn billions selling it back to us. And they will have a head start on the dazzling future possibilities of fuzzy logic: software that predicts the stock market based on the daily news, cars that drive themselves, sex robots with a humanlike repertoire of behavior, computers that understand and respond to normal human language, and molecule-size soldiers of health that roam the bloodstream, killing cancer cells and slowing the aging process. Fuzzy Logic is the compelling tale of this remarkable new technology and the fascinating people who made it happen. It is also the story of what it took for American business to catch on to fuzzy logic - and how it will soon affect the lives of every one of us.

"Fuzzy logic" is a way to program computers so that they can mimic the imprecise way that humans make decisions. This important book traces the dramatic story of Lofti Zadeh, the Iranian-American professor who developed this concept, and his struggle to sell it to the American academic and business communities.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
General readers who are curious about how a new paradigm is created in basic science will find much of interest in this tight, sharp journalistic treatment of the development of ``fuzzy'' logic--that is, the mathematics of complexity, which in its more practical applications enables the design of machines that can perform a variety of tasks without detailed human instructions. The authors, both computer writers, chronicle the discipline's beginnings in the early 1960s and the academic battles over its worth that delayed its use in American applied science for years (the Japanese picked it up more quickly), showing how the combined inertia of 20th-century business and science resisted such a major shift in thinking. The mathematicians who created fuzzy logic (and may well regret the playful name they gave it) take center stage here, but the authors' journalistic skills enable them to vividly report on the insular world of high-level research, making the heated debates over fuzzy logic that much more interesting. McNeill/Newbridge Book Club special selection. ( Feb. )
Library Journal
``Fuzzy logic'' is a mathematical model of artificial intelligence that simulates human thinking by quantifying subjective concepts and reducing an infinite spectrum of numbers into a few categories. Initially scorned by American firms, it has been embraced commercially by Japanese companies for more than five years in the manufacture of innovative ``smart'' products such as camcorders, washing machines, air conditioners, and subway systems. The authors rebuke U.S. manufacturers for being shortsighted in rejecting this technology while Japanese corporations are now positioned to earn billions selling smart appliances to American consumers. While a few U.S. companies have recently begun to apply fuzzy logic, the gap with Japan remains wide, and narrowing it will be a considerable challenge. This is a good complement to Charles Ferguson's Computer Wars ( LJ 1/92), which discusses the hardware challenges that lie ahead for American companies. Both would be of interest to public and academic libraries.-- Joe Acccardi, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Booknews
Conventional logic divides the world into yes and no, black and white. Fuzzy logic, invented at Berkeley in 1964, deals in shades of gray, and can let computers make decisions more like people. Used first in Japan, fuzzy logic will be part of cars that drive themselves, voice controlled computers, and software that predicts the stock market based on the daily news. Written for the layperson, the authors explain fuzzy logic, what it can do, and who is jumping on the industrial bandwagon. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mary Carroll
Computer journalists McNeill and Freiberger mix philosophy and science, academic rivalry and international economic competition, the architecture of the mind and the technology of expert systems in this fascinating tale of the birth, development, and application of fuzzy logic. In 1964, UC-Berkeley electrical engineering professor Lotfi Zadeh challenged bedrock formulations of Western civilization (Aristotle's laws of contradiction and the excluded middle) by arguing that the classes and categories we use to understand the world are vague (not crisp) and that individuals participate in these categories to varying degrees. Some U.S. scientists pursued and extended Zadeh's theory of fuzzy sets; most, however, rejected fuzzy logic for two decades, feeling it destroyed the scientific method itself or substituted fuzziness for the precision of objective or subjective Bayesian probability theory. Meanwhile, scientists and engineers from Japan and, more recently, Europe were quick to recognize the value of fuzzy logic, using it in VCRs, robots, and automobiles. McNeill and Freiberger's book offers readers an accessible introduction to a theory that appears to give scientists a more sophisticated grasp of complexity and of the brain's functioning.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671738433
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/5/1993
  • Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Train Runs in Sendai 9
1 The Master 14
2 The Cocaine of Science 45
3 The Arago Factor 65
4 The Sharp Mirage 82
5 Fuzzy Engine, Fuzzy Inferno 101
6 The Vague Archipelago 127
7 The Silk Tracks 143
8 In Electric Town 158
9 Turf War 174
10 American Samurai 192
11 Fuzzy Delphi 209
l2 Webs of Cognition 228
13 Inside the Japanese Labs 243
14 American Upswing 257
Acknowledgments 285
Notes 287
Bibliography 297
Index 307
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