Technology: Time For Some Fuzzy Thinking

An oddball approach to computer science pays off in Japan

. In the pages of Books in Print, listed among works like Fuzzy Bear and Fuzzy Wuzzy Puppy, are some strange-sounding titles: Fuzzy Systems, Fuzzy Set Theory and Fuzzy Reasoning & Its Applications. The bedtime reading of scientists gone soft in the head? No, these academic tomes are the collected output of 25 years of mostly American research in fuzzy logic, a branch of mathematics designed to help computers simulate the various kinds of vagueness and uncertainty found in everyday life. Despite a distinguished corps of devoted followers, however, fuzzy logic has been largely relegated to the back shelves of computer...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!