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Volume 11, Issue 3
May/Jun 1997
Theme: Neural Nets and Fuzzy Logic

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An Expert System for Aerospace - All spacecraft systems face the problem of contamination. In outer space, contaminant films of microscopic thickness can cause unwanted changes in the characteristics of spacecraft components. A.C. Tribble and B.V. Boyadjian report on an expert system they developed to help contamination control engineers deal with this problem.
Data-Mining in the Financial Markets: Project Definition -- Data-mining is a technology with potential. Investors who have already used it to make substatial profit in the financial arena will attest to this. Thomas Rathburn explores the fine points of this technology, as he begins a three-part series on how, why, and when to mine data.
Neural Nets and OLE: Showing the Connections -- Until Neural Networks hooked up with OLE, it was difficult to understand just how Nets work their magic. Arlan Sprague connected these two technologies. The result is an application that clearly shows the aspects of Artificial Neural functioning.
Taming Complexity in Large-Scale Fuzzy Systems - The Combs Method is a way to get around the potentially explosive amount of rules that a fuzzy system usually requires. James Andrews explains this method and its importance to the future of fuzziness.

Vendor's Forum - The Fuzzy Judgement Maker Martin McNeill of Fuzzy Systems Engineering shows us the thought process behind the Fuzzy Judgement Maker.
Interview - Gerard Montgomery, Abtech Corporation  
Agents - The Joys of Remote Programming by Dan Rasmus
Cybernautica - The Search is on...the Web by Hal Berghel
Product Updates -----------------------------> 19 late breaking product announcements from around the world in the fields of:
  Call for Papers Client/Server
  Conferences Data Mining
  Education Fuzzy Logic
  Genetic Algorithms Helpdesk Systems
  Intelligent Tools Internet
  Neural Networks Object Oriented Development
PC AI Buyer's Guide -----------------------> Fuzzy Logic Neural Networks
Product Service Guide - Provides access to information on an entire category of products    
PC AI Blackboard - AI advertisers bulletin board    

Advertiser List for 11.3
AAAI GP '97 Conference OXKO Corporation
AAAI '97 and IAAI '97 Hess Consulting PC AI AI Report
AbTech Corp. HyperLogic Corporation Pinnacle Data
AI Developers IEA/AIE '97 Primenet Inc.
American Heuristics KnowledgeBroker Inc. Production Systems Tech.
Amzi! Inc. LEVEL\5-Level Five Research Prolog Development Center
Applied Logic Systems Inc. Logic Programming Assoc. Ltd SDI Inc.
ATTAR Software USA Metus Systems Soft Warehouse Inc.
BioComp Systems Inc. Mikuni Berkeley R&D Software Frontiers Sys. Inc.
Blackboard Technology Grp. MIT GmbH Statsoft
Brightware Inc. Network Cybernetics Corp. Teknowledge Corp.
California Scientific Software NeuralWare Inc. The Haley Enterprise
DAS Group Inc. NeuroDimensions Inc. Ward Systems Grp.
Finance and Technology Pub. Neuron Data WizSoft Inc.
Flexible Intelligence Grp NIBS Pte Ltd  
Franz Inc. Original Systems  


Mirrors of the Mind

In this issue, we put neural net technology and fuzzy logic side by side. It's appropriate to do this, as both technologies seek to mirror aspects of the human mind. Neural nets are intended as a model for how our cognitive structures and processes work at a fundamental level - the level of the cells of our nervous system and the interconnections among them. Fuzzy Logic moves the mirror to a different level - classification and decision-making.
  Both are important to the field of cognitive science, that multidisciplinary research area which tries to understand the workings of the mind at all levels. True to our objectives, however, we treat these technologies not as research tools but as working application platforms with profound implications for the real world.
  One problem with neural nets is that people find it hard to comprehend how they do the things they do. To get around this blackbox aspect, Arlan Sprague ("Neural Nets and OLE") combines neural technology with the practical down-to-earth technology of OLE. The result is a system that reveals its inner workings in a visual comprehensible way.
  Speaking of problems, one problem with fuzzy logic is that it often generates systems that require astronomical amounts of rules - more rules than a person can produce in a reasonable (or even an unreasonable) amount of time. A technique called the Combs Method comes to the rescue. James Andrews ("Taming Complexity in Large-Scale Fuzzy Systems") reports on this technique and explains its importance.
  Our Vendor's Forum and our Interview are squarely within this issues focus. In the Forum, Martin McNeill describes the thought process behind his organization's "Fuzzy Judgment Maker," a tool that helps you apply fuzzy logic to practical decision making. In the Interview, AbTech founder Gerard Montgomery outlines the reasons for his organization's success. Although and innovator in the application of net technology, AbTech focuses on building solutions for clients rather than on the technology - and has built a strong, loyal customer base as a result.
  Our other features will enlighten and inform. Thomas Rathburn begins a three-part series on "Data-Mining in the Financial Markets." He outlines the best way to do this, and alerts you to the things to be aware of. A.C. Tribble and B.V. Boyadjian describe and expert system they built to help engineers meet the challenge of spacecraft contamination in outer space. Dan Rasmus brings us another installment of "Agents." This one tells you how agents communicate with remote computers. And as always the witty, urbane, and incisive Hal Berghel is on hand with "Cybernautica." Hal discusses Web-based search engines (and don't miss his review of Encarta 97 in "Eye on Multimedia").
  AS we bring this issue to you, our feelings are bittersweet. Long time PC AI staffer Elisa Hicks is leaving us: she and her husband are off to start their new life in the Great Northwest. We'll miss her steadying influence, her organizational skills, and her many contributions, and we with Elisa and her husband all the best that life has to offer.
  With great pleasure and anticipation, we welcome new Managing Editoor Elizabeth Olsen. In the short time that she's been with us, Liz has been co-ordinating our Web site and managing the madness that surrounds the final stages of production. She has carried this off with flair and aplomb, and we look forward to working with her in her new role.
  Joseph Schmuller

Volume 11---------------------> Issue 1 (Jan/Feb 1997)   Volume 15 Index (2001)
  Issue 2 (Mar/Apr 1997)   Volume 14 Index (2000)
Issue 3 (May/Jun 1997)   Volume 13 Index (1999)
Issue 4 (Jul/Aug 1997)   Volume 12 Index (1998)
Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 1997)   Volume 11 Index (1997)
Issue 6 (Nov/Dec 1997)   Volume 10 Index (1996)
      Volume 9 Index (1995)
      Volume 8 Index (1994)

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