Have you heard of Fuzzy Math or Fuzzy Logic? Do you know what the terms mean or their significance?

What is Fuzzy Logic?

The mathematical study of multivalued logic gave rise to fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic works with sets having ambiguous or relative meanings, such as “little,” “short,” or “attractive,” in contrast to regular logic, which deals with claims of absolute truth, such as black or white. In place of absolute truth or falsehood, this attempts to mimic how humans approach situations and judge by depending on ambiguous or vague values.1,2 

Fuzzy logic is variable processing that enables the processing of several truth values using a single variable. The approach focuses on heuristics that enable valid conclusions to be reached in various ways and an open, imprecise spectrum of information to solve problems. Fuzzy logic is used to solve issues by considering all pertinent information and coming up with the best solution based on the input. Lotfi Zadeh first put forth fuzzy logic in a 1965 article named “Fuzzy Sets” for the journal “Information and Control.”2  Zadeh attempted to reflect the type of data utilized in information processing in his study and derived the fundamental logical rules for this kind of set.1,2

Who is Lotfi Zadeh?

Lofti Zadeh was born in 1921 in Baku, Azerbaijan, which, at the time, was part of the Soviet Union. Zadeh’s family emigrated from the Soviet Union to Iran, where he later earned a degree from the University of Tehran. Zadeh was motivated to eventually move to the United States while attending Alborz College by the American missionaries who served there. After having earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Tehran, which was no easy task considering numerous nations had invaded Iran beginning in 1941, Lotfi Zadeh and his wife decided to settle down and relocate to Philadelphia.3,4,5

Zadeh continued his profession in education for many years and graduated with more than 50 Ph.D. candidates. Professor Lotfi Zadeh worked in the Berkeley EECS Graduate School’s Computer Science Division. Additionally, he was the director of BISC (Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing). Lotfi Zadeh was buried in Baku, Azerbaijan, after passing away at his Berkeley, California, residence. You can find a statue of Zadeh in Baku, along with a technology institute that is named in his honor.,4,5

Lotfi Zadeh was an electrical engineer and computer scientist whose fuzzy logic theories spread throughout academia and business, influencing everything from linguistics, medicine, economics to air conditioners, washing machines, and even rice cookers. Zadeh is most known for being the creator of fuzzy logic, the mathematical framework that served as an early kind of artificial intelligence. The basis for contemporary technology like facial recognition, vehicle gearboxes, weather forecasting, trading, and even rice cookers can be found in his 1965 paper  named “Fuzzy Sets” on the subject, which has received over 90,000 citations.6,7 

Mr. Zadeh imagined a mathematical framework that could imitate human abilities and deal with ambiguity and uncertainty in a manner comparable to how humans do. In contrast to strict divisions between concepts from the actual world, he loosened them. For example, something wasn’t inside or outside. It occupied a region between in and out, and at any given moment. So, it was defined by a more complex set of guidelines.6,7,8

At first, Professor Zadeh thought fuzzy sets were just a way to organize words. But the concept grew to include other things, such as sets with fuzzy boundaries that might be beneficial. Professor Zadeh’s work was contentious and occasionally mocked in academic circles, partly because it posed a challenge to other branches of math and partly due to his nomenclature.3,7,8

However, it opened up a new approach to dealing with issues requiring more accurate data. The technique could be used to create devices like thermostats and machinery that smoothly transition from one condition to another, similar to how an automobile transmission moves from first to second gear. Our ability to converse with machines using increasingly human-like language is because of Professor Zadeh, who regarded fuzzy logic as a means for eventually developing true artificial intelligence.3,8

Suggested Readings

Fuzzy Math: What Does Fuzzy Logic Mean?

A Brief Introduction to Terence Tao, Described as the Mozart of Math!

Who is John Nash? What are Some of his Most Notable Accomplishments?

The Astounding Brilliance and Greatest Contributions of John von Neumann

You can read more interesting posts about math and coding at BYJU’S FutureSchool Blog.


  1. fuzzy logic | mathematics | Britannica. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/science/fuzzy-logic 
  2. Fuzzy Logic: Definition, Meaning, Examples, and History. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/fuzzy-logic.asp 
  3. Lotfi Zadeh, inventor of fuzzy logic, wins the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award for enabling computers and machines to behave and decide like human beings. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lotfi-zadeh-inventor-of-fuzzy-logic-wins-the-bbva-foundation-frontiers-of-knowledge-award-for-enabling-computers-and-machines-to-behave-and-decide-like-human-beings-186999251.html 
  4. Lotfi A. Zadeh, Electrical Engineering (2009) | The Franklin Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.fi.edu/laureates/lotfi-zadeh 
  5. Lotfi A. Zadeh | EECS at UC Berkeley. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www2.eecs.berkeley.edu/Faculty/Homepages/zadeh.html/ 
  6. Lotfi A. Zadeh: On the man and his work – ScienceDirect. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1026309811000666 
  7. Lotfi Zadeh, inventor of ‘fuzzy logic,’ dies at 96 | Berkeley News. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://news.berkeley.edu/story_jump/lofti-zadeh-inventor-of-fuzzy-logic-dies-at-96/ 
  8. Lotfi Zadeh, Father of Mathematical ‘Fuzzy Logic,’ Dies at 96 – The New York Times. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/11/science/lotfi-zadeh-father-of-mathematical-fuzzy-logic-dies-at-96.html 

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