Optimization Models Using Fuzzy Sets and Possibility Theory

Kacprzyk JW & Orlovsky S (1987). Optimization Models Using Fuzzy Sets and Possibility Theory. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co.. ISBN 90-277-2492-X


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Optimization is of central concern to a number of disciplines. Operations Research and Decision Theory are often considered to be identical with optimization. But also in other areas such as engineering design, regional policy, logistics and many others, the search for optimal solutions is one of the prime goals. The methods and models which have been used over the last decades in these areas have primarily been "hard" or "crisp", i.e. the solutions were considered to be either feasible or unfeasible, either above a certain aspiration level or below. This dichotomous structure of methods very often forced the modeler to approximate real problem situations of the more-or-less type by yes-or-no-type models, the solutions of which might turn out not to be the solutions to the real problems. This is particularly true if the problem under consideration includes vaguely defined relationships, human evaluations, uncertainty due to inconsistent or incomplete evidence, if natural language has to be modeled or if state variables can only be described approximately.

Until recently, everything which was not known with certainty, i.e. which was not known to be either true or false or which was not known to either happen with certainty or to be impossible to occur, was modeled by means of probabilities. This holds in particular for uncertainties concerning the occurrence of events. probability theory was used irrespective of whether its axioms (such as, for instance, the law of large numbers) were satisfied or not, or whether the "events" could really be described unequivocally and crisply.

In the meantime one has become aware of the fact that uncertainties concerning the occurrence as well as concerning the description of events ought to be modeled in a much more differentiated way. New concepts and theories have been developed to do this: the theory of evidence, possibility theory, the theory of fuzzy sets have been advanced to a stage of remarkable maturity and have already been applied successfully in numerous cases and in many areas. Unluckily, the progress in these areas has been so fast in the last years that it has not been documented in a way which makes these results easily accessible and understandable for newcomers to these areas: text-books have not been able to keep up with the speed of new developments; edited volumes have been published which are very useful for specialists in these areas, but which are of very little use to nonspecialists because they assume too much of a background in fuzzy set theory. To a certain degree the same is true for the existing professional journals in the area of fuzzy set theory.

Altogether this volume is a very important and appreciable contribution to the literature on fuzzy set theory.

Item Type: Book
Research Programs: General Research (GEN)
Bibliographic Reference: D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Netherlands [1987]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:57
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2016 13:52
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/2893

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