One of the challenges of control system design is that there are often situations where there is no right or wrong answer. Often, control systems operate on a logic of "true" and "false." Usually, 0 = false and 1 = true. However, there may be situations where the answer is somewhere between 0 and 1, which is where fuzzy logic comes into play.
An Example of a Fuzzy Logic System
You may have a control system where an air conditioning unit cycles on when the ambient temperature rises above a specific point. However, if the temperature increases substantially over a short period, the AC may need to operate more so than if the temperature only rises somewhat above a specific point.
Fuzzy Logic Vs. Boolean Logic
To solve this problem, rather than relying on Boolean logic, which focuses on true and false statements, the control system needs an arithmetic solution. This could be an integer, which is a number without a decimal. Or, the number could be a float, which is a number with a decimal. When everything is defined correctly, and the rules are properly established, this can create an effective system.
Fuzzy Logic and Simple Applications
In some cases, fuzzy logic might seem unnecessary. You may find that in the majority of cases, the answer is a 0 or a 1 and you may want to revert back to Boolean logic to simply the system. However, when using fuzzy logic, your system is much easier to scale.
Dedicated Fuzzy Logic Control Systems
Most digital devices do not use fuzzy logic at the hardware level. Instead, the devices that use fuzzy logic are often dedicated control systems or artificial intelligence. Fuzzy logic is considered a form of artificial intelligence and is a subset of it.
Combining Traditional and Fuzzy Logic Control Systems
Fuzzy logic and traditional control systems do not necessarily have to be used separately. They are often combined in order to create dynamic systems. Fuzzy logic control systems can be difficult to validate given that they are not traditional control systems.
Fuzzy Logic Software Vs. Hardware
In many ways, fuzzy logic is used as a form of low-level machine control. On standard microprocessors, software runs fuzzy logic. There are also special-purpose processors that are designed to perform fuzzy logic calculations at the hardware level. When information is uncertain, a traditional device might return an error, while a fuzzy control system will find a solution.
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