Soft Computing and its Applications

Soft Computing and its Applications

Siddhartha Bhattacharyya (The University of Burdwan, India), Ujjwal Maulik (Jadavpur University, India) and Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay (Indian Statistical Institute, India)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-797-4.ch001
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Abstract

Soft Computing is a relatively new computing paradigm bestowed with tools and techniques for handling real world problems. The main components of this computing paradigm are neural networks, fuzzy logic and evolutionary computation. Each and every component of the soft computing paradigm operates either independently or in coalition with the other components for addressing problems related to modeling, analysis and processing of data. An overview of the essentials and applications of the soft computing paradigm is presented in this chapter with reference to the functionalities and operations of its constituent components. Neural networks are made up of interconnected processing nodes/neurons, which operate on numeric data. These networks posses the capabilities of adaptation and approximation. The varied amount of uncertainty and ambiguity in real world data are handled in a linguistic framework by means of fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic. Hence, this component is efficient in understanding vagueness and imprecision in real world knowledge bases. Genetic algorithms, simulated annealing algorithm and ant colony optimization algorithm are representative evolutionary computation techniques, which are efficient in deducing an optimum solution to a problem, thanks to the inherent exhaustive search methodologies adopted. Of late, rough sets have evolved to improve upon the performances of either of these components by way of approximation techniques. These soft computing techniques have been put to use in wide variety of problems ranging from scientific to industrial applications. Notable among these applications include image processing, pattern recognition, Kansei information processing, data mining, web intelligence etc.
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2. Neural Networks

A neural network is a powerful data-modeling tool that is able to capture and represent complex input/output relationships similar to a human brain. Artificial neural networks resemble the human brain in the following two ways:

  • A neural network acquires knowledge through learning.

  • A neural network's knowledge is stored within inter-neuron connection strengths known as synaptic weights.

The true power and advantage of neural networks lie in their ability to represent both linear and non-linear relationships and in their ability to learn these relationships directly from the data being modeled.

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