Bart Kosko is an original. A scholarly maverick, regularly denounced in the US, he is revered in the Far East for his advocacy of Fuzzy Logic. He has degrees in philosophy, economics, mathematics and electrical engineering, but began his academic career as a gifted composer. He is currently Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California, and chairman of several international conferences on neural networks and Fuzzy Logic. Kosko is also the author of three bestselling textbooks on the subject: Neural Networks and Fuzzy Systems, Neural Networks for Signal Processing and Fuzzy Engineering. He lives in Los Angeles.
Aristotle is out and Buddha is in; the law of the excluded middle (either A or not-A) is repealed, and A and not-A together replaces it. No more black and white, right and wrong, true or false. In their place come shades of gray, more or less, maybe so, maybe not. Why? Because the new world of fuzzy logic more closely mirrors reality, has a rigor all its own, and is paying off in the marketplace. Kosko (Electrical Engineering/USC) has been called the St. Paul of fuzziness, and for good reason: Not only has he contributed major theories and proofs in the development of fuzzy logic, but he's also been a major proselytizer and gadfly, organizing conferences and frequently going on the road (which usually leads to Japan). He's also young...which may account for the passion and posturing that color the text. Indeed, until Kosko gets down to chapter and verse on what FL is and how it works, reader will be put off by the constant put-down of Western logic and philosophy and opposing schools of computer science. But when Kosko is good, he's very, very good. One comes away from his text with a real understanding of the concepts of fuzzy sets, rules, and systems, and of how they're applied to make smart machines, devices, trains, and planes. He's also good in extending these ideas to neural nets in hypothesizing how brains change, learn, get smart. But toward the end, he plunges big time into metaphysical questions about life, death, cosmology, God (seen as the math-maker). Curious about the future, Kosko says that he'll opt for freezing at death. Still, for all the serf-indulgence, probably the best primer around for learning what FL is all about, certainly cuts above Daniel McNeill and Paul Freiberger's Fuzzy Logic (p. 45). (Kirkus Reviews)