Managing Fuzziness



Bart Kosko, one of the pioneers and leading thinkers in the field of Fuzzy Logic has a wonderful analogy on fuzziness. He describes an apple and discusses the stages of an apple and its transformation to an apple core. When is an apple an apple, and when does it cease to be an apple and becomes an apple core? Often we are locked into a binary view of the world. This happens in our world of software and in our world of business processes. Yesterday, I fell into that trap. I was in a discussion with a client about a report that they had requested. At one point, I told her, "Look,we can do this, I just need to have a logical path." She laughed and said, "Oh, I know, I know." I had given her the wrong question and she gave me the right answer.

Often the answer is buried in sets of conditions. WHEN is an apple an apple? WHY is an apple an apple? WHO is the Apple? WHERE is the apple? WHAT exactly is an apple? HOW is an apple an apple? Fuzzy Logic is based on relative sets of Apple. I would argue that the fuzzy sets can be determined by examining the conditions. These conditions may be the business processes that affect the being of an apple. WHO is sitting at the table? HOW hungry are they?

The world is fuzzy. The world has conditions. Those conditions can be mapped. I'm hungry.


Editor's Note:  This post was first published on 4/25/2008.




About Sprawlgeek.
A Seasoned Technology Visionary possessing a deep understanding of technology and business processes.

Doug has accumulated over 35 years of experience in the technology and media markets. His broad career has ranged from leading Research and Development work for a 300+ million dollar company to an E-Government startup. His efforts have been recognized by major trade associations as well as Tier 1 clients.

Doug is now a private consultant and continues to provide his insights to the industry.