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IEEE Trans Syst Man Cybern B Cybern. 1998;28(1):1-14. doi: 10.1109/3477.658573.

Fuzzy decision trees: issues and methods.

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Dept. of Math. & Comput. Sci., Missouri Univ., St. Louis, MO.


Decision trees are one of the most popular choices for learning and reasoning from feature-based examples. They have undergone a number of alterations to deal with language and measurement uncertainties. We present another modification, aimed at combining symbolic decision trees with approximate reasoning offered by fuzzy representation. The intent is to exploit complementary advantages of both: popularity in applications to learning from examples, high knowledge comprehensibility of decision trees, and the ability to deal with inexact and uncertain information of fuzzy representation. The merger utilizes existing methodologies in both areas to full advantage, but is by no means trivial. In particular, knowledge inferences must be newly defined for the fuzzy tree. We propose a number of alternatives, based on rule-based systems and fuzzy control. We also explore capabilities that the new framework provides. The resulting learning method is most suitable for stationary problems, with both numerical and symbolic features, when the goal is both high knowledge comprehensibility and gradually changing output. We describe the methodology and provide simple illustrations.

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