Re: The Magic city of Baku and the history of fuzzy logic

Robin B. Lake (rbl@hal.epbi.cwru.edu)
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 13:32:31 +0200 (MET DST)

Andrei -

If you ever happened to visit Lotfi's office, you would be overwhelmed
by the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, two-layers deep collection of books.
There were many there that I recall having read when I first started
corresponding with Lotfi in the late 60's, when I was doing work in
Boolean Models (which amount to crisply-quantified fuzzy static models).
The Desoer and Zadeh book on systems and the ideas therein touched
on some of the same ideas I had gleaned from:
- Multi-valued logics
- Foundations of algebraic axiomatic theories
- Risk and uncertainty.

When Lotfi came out with the foundations of fuzzy logic, I saw immediately
he was light-years ahead of where I'd ever be, and moved over to his
line of reasoning. It was a pleasure to sit in on his UCB Industrial
Liaison Program lectures each year and more so to be able to bring him
to our corporate Information Technology Meeting one year.

In my promotion of fuzzy logics concepts within a very large corporation
(1982 - 1993), I found that almost everyone newly introduced to the
area saw it from a different perspective. When I promoted it within
the university, I found that Raymond J. Nelson, philosopher and logician,
saw it from the perspective of Automata Theory (Ray wrote a textbook
on automata theory).

As far as trying to identify what concepts and thoughts led to a
specific invention or innovation, there are only personal recollections
and the published literature to go on. Bill Goffman, ex-Dean of the
School of Library Science at CWRU, developed some quantitative methods
for assessing the importance of key articles from the literature on
subsequent ideas.

My earliest reference -- and one of the very best for exposing the
fuzzy logic thought process and the resolution of the fuzzy-to-real
discovery process is: "Les Entretiens de Zurich sur Les fondements
et la methode des sciences mathematiques" 6-9 Decembre 1938.
F. Gonseth, ed. Pub. 1941 Editeurs S.a. Leemann freres & cie.,
Zurich.

And an earlier paper by Gonseth "La Verite Mathematique et la
Realite", Conference prononcee a l'assembleee annuale de la
Societe helvetique des Sciences naturelies, a Thoune, le 6 aout 1932.
While I have a copy, I have no record of from where it was copied.

Another key paper to set the mind right on fuzzy logic and reality is
called "The Morning Star and the Evening Star". I can't locate that
paper at the moment, but it deals with the development of logic and
reasoning that allows one to axiomatize that two objects that are
never seen concurrently can be (and are, indeed) the same object.

Cheers,
Robin Lake
Environmental Modeling Inc.
rbl@hal.cwru.edu

> From fuzzy-mail@dbai.tuwien.ac.at Mon Sep 20 09:50:13 1999
> Originator: fuzzy-mail@dbai.tuwien.ac.at
> To: Multiple recipients of list <fuzzy-mail@dbai.tuwien.ac.at>
> Subject: The Magic city of Baku and the history of fuzzy logic
> X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
> X-Comment: Fuzzy Distribution List
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>
> The founder of fuzzy logic Lotfi Zafeh and his precursor, Max Black wee
> born in Baku. What a coincidence!
>
> In my search on the ideas that lead to fuzzy logic, I saw a reference by
> Jan Dejnozka about the following persons to be relevant to the history
> of fuzzy logic:
> Bertrand Russel, Jan Lukasiewicz, Max Black, James McCauley, Lotfi
> Zadeh.
> He refers to his book (unfortunately it is unclear to which one -
> unfortunately I have no access to any of them).
>
> The relevant references seem to be the following:
>
> 1. Bertrand Russel, "Vagueness", in the Australian Journal of
> Philosophy, 1, 1923.
> (by the way, not mentioned by Klir&Yuan).
>
> 2. Max Black, "Vagueness, an exercise in logical analysis", Philosophy
> of Science, 4(4), 1937, pp. 427-455 (reprinted in Intern. J. of General
> Systems, 17(2-3), 1990, pp. 107-128.
>
> 3. For Lukasiewicz there are some references to a spech in 1918, but
> somewhere else there was note indicating that his first paper was in
> 1917.
>
> It seems that the first paper of Zadeh using the notion of fuzziness is
> not
>
> Lotfi Zadeh, "Fuzzy sets", Information and Control, 8(1965), pp.338-353
> ,
>
> but
>
> Lotfi Zadeh, "From circuit theory to system theory", Proceedings of the
> Institute of Radio
> Engineers 50, 1962), pp. 856-865.
>
> But who is McCauley? (may be McCawley?)
>
> Any answers/clarifications to the previous questions would be
> appreciated
>
> Andrei Heilper
>
>
>
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