Books : reviews

Bruce D'Ambrosio.
Qualitative Process Theory Using Linguistic Variables.
Springer. 1989

Qualitative Process (QP) theory describes the form of qualitative theories about the dynamics of physical systems. Qualitative descriptions are important because they provide the ability to reason with incomplete information and can guide the application of more detailed quantitative theories when additional information is available. This book explores the possibility of using linguistic variables as a semi-quantitative extension to the qualitative value and relationship representations in QP theory. These extensions can reduce the ambiguity of QP analyses. Further, these extensions permit computationally tractable reasoning at the appropriate level of detail for the kinds of questions typically asked in controlling engineered systems, and can capture the imprecise or uncertain data typically available in control applications.

The extensions presented are motivated by an examination of the potential use of QP theory in reasoning about the control of physical systems. This book contains:

• An overview of fuzzy logic control.
• An introduction to Qualitative Process theory, including an example showing its application to a typical process control problem.
• An introduction to the theory of linguistic variables.
• Development of a set of techniques for extending QP theory with linguistic variable representations.
• Demonstration of the utility of these techniques in the context of the process control example.

Qualitative Process Theory Using Linguistic Variables will be useful to those interested in learning about fuzzy set theory and its application to process control as well as to those interested in learning about qualitative methods of modelling physical systems. This is the only book that discusses both of these topics and presents a way of combining them to develop efficient and effective methods for control.