Fuzzy regulation system of the working agent
Fuzzy rule-based systems are one of the most important areas of application of fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. Constituting an extension of classical rule-based systems, these have been successfully applied to a wide range of problems in different domains for which uncertainty and vagueness emerge in multiple ways. In a broad sense, fuzzy rule-based systems are rule-based systems, where fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic are used as tools for representing different forms of knowledge about the problem at hand, as well as for modeling the interactions and relationships existing between its variables. The use of fuzzy statements as one of the main constituents of the rules allows capturing and handling the potential uncertainty of the represented knowledge. On the other hand, thanks to the use of fuzzy logic, inference methods have become more robust and flexible. This chapter will mainly analyze what is a fuzzy rule-based system (from both conceptual and structural points of view), how is it built, and how can be used. The analysis will start by considering the two main conceptual components of these systems, knowledge, and reasoning, and how they are represented. Then, a review of the main structural approaches to fuzzy rule-based systems will be considered. Hierarchical fuzzy systems will also be analyzed. Once defined the components, structure and approaches to those systems, the question of design will be considered. Finally, some conclusions will be presented.
A fuzzy control system is a control system based on fuzzy logic – a mathematical system that analyzes analog input values in terms of logical variables that take on continuous values between 0 and 1, in contrast to classical or digital logic, which operates on discrete values of either 1 or 0 (true or false, respectively). Fuzzy logic is widely used in machine control. The term "fuzzy" refers to the fact that the logic involved can deal with concepts that cannot be expressed as the "true" or "false" but rather as "partially true". Although alternative approaches such as genetic algorithms and neural networks can perform just as well as fuzzy logic in many cases, fuzzy logic has the advantage that the solution to the problem can be cast in terms that human operators can understand, so that their experience can be used in the design of the controller. This makes it easier to mechanize tasks that are already successfully performed by humans [1-2].
Fuzzy logic was proposed by Lotfi A. Zadeh of the University of California at Berkeley in a 1965 paper. He elaborated on his ideas in a 1973 paper that introduced the concept of "linguistic variables", which in this article equates to a variable defined as a fuzzy set. Other research followed, with the first industrial application, a cement kiln built in Denmark, coming on line in 1975.
Fuzzy systems were initially implemented in Japan.
- Interest in fuzzy systems was sparked by Seiji Yasunobu and Soji Miyamoto of Hitachi, who in 1985 provided simulations that demonstrated the feasibility of fuzzy control systems for the Sendai Subway. Their ideas were adopted, and fuzzy systems were used to control accelerating, braking, and stopping when the Namboku Line opened in 1987.
- In 1987, Takeshi Yamakawa demonstrated the use of fuzzy control, through a set of simple dedicated fuzzy logic chips, in an "inverted pendulum" experiment. This is a classic control problem, in which a vehicle tries to keep a pole mounted on its top by a hinge upright by moving back and forth. Yamakawa subsequently made the demonstration more sophisticated by mounting a wine glass containing water and even a live mouse to the top of the pendulum: the system maintained stability in both cases. Yamakawa eventually went on to organize his own fuzzy-systems research lab to help exploit his patents in the field.
- Japanese engineers subsequently developed a wide range of fuzzy systems for both industrial and consumer applications. In 1988 Japan established the Laboratory for International Fuzzy Engineering (LIFE), a cooperative arrangement between 48 companies to pursue fuzzy research. The automotive company Volkswagen was the only foreign corporate member of LIFE, dispatching a researcher for a duration of three years.
- Japanese consumer goods often incorporate fuzzy systems. Matsushita vacuum cleaners use microcontrollers running fuzzy algorithms to interrogate dust sensors and adjust suction power accordingly. Hitachi washing machines use fuzzy controllers to load-weight, fabric-mix, and dirt sensors and automatically set the wash cycle for the best use of power, water, and detergent.
- Canon developed an autofocusing camera that uses a charge-coupled device (CCD) to measure the clarity of the image in six regions of its field of view and use the information provided to determine if the image is in focus. It also tracks the rate of change of lens movement during focusing, and controls its speed to prevent overshoot. The camera's fuzzy control system uses 12 inputs: 6 to obtain the current clarity data provided by the CCD and 6 to measure the rate of change of lens movement. The output is the position of the lens. The fuzzy control system uses 13 rules and requires 1.1 kilobytes of memory.
- An industrial air conditioner designed by Mitsubishi uses 25 heating rules and 25 cooling rules. A temperature sensor provides input, with control outputs fed to an inverter, a compressor valve, and a fan motor. Compared to the previous design, the fuzzy controller heats and cools five times faster, reduces power consumption by 24%, increases temperature stability by a factor of two, and uses fewer sensors.
- Other applications investigated or implemented include: character and handwriting recognition; optical fuzzy systems; robots, including one for making Japanese flower arrangements; voice-controlled robot helicopters (hovering is a "balancing act" rather similar to the inverted pendulum problem); rehabilitation robotics to provide patient-specific solutions (e.g. to control heart rate and blood pressure); control of flow of powders in film manufacture; elevator systems; and so on [3-4].
Work on fuzzy systems is also proceeding in the United States and Europe, although on a less extensive scale than in Japan.
- The US Environmental Protection Agency has investigated fuzzy control for energy-efficient motors, and NASA has studied fuzzy control for automated space docking: simulations show that a fuzzy control system can greatly reduce fuel consumption.
- Firms such as Boeing, General Motors, Allen-Bradley, Chrysler, Eaton, and Whirlpool have worked on fuzzy logic for use in low-power refrigerators, improved automotive transmissions, and energy-efficient electric motors.
- In 1995 Maytag introduced an "intelligent" dishwasher based on a fuzzy controller and a "one-stop sensing module" that combines a thermistor, for temperature measurement; a conductivity sensor, to measure detergent level from the ions present in the wash; a turbidity sensor that measures scattered and transmitted light to measure the soiling of the wash; and a magnetostrictive sensor to read spin rate. The system determines the optimum wash cycle for any load to obtain the best results with the least amount of energy, detergent, and water. It even adjusts for dried-on foods by tracking the last time the door was opened, and estimates the number of dishes by the number of times the door was opened .
Research and development is also continuing on fuzzy applications in software, as opposed to firmware, design, including fuzzy expert systems and integration of fuzzy logic with neural-network and so-called adaptive "genetic" software systems, with the ultimate goal of building "self-learning" fuzzy-control systems. These systems can be employed to control complex, nonlinear dynamic plants, for example, human body.
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