FAQ/Frequently Asked Questions

This page collects some of the frequently asked questions about fuzzyTECH and explains some of the Terminology used on this web server. If you do not find the answer to your question here, please send us email via our contact form.

- What Can Fuzzy Logic Contribute to My Design?

The World is Fuzzy: The flexibility that lies in the words and statements we employ is widely used in society. In most western societies, the legal system consists of a certain number of laws, each of which describes a different situation. For example, one law could express that theft of a car should be punished with two years of prison. Another law could define diminished responsibility. In one case in court, the judge must decide the exact number of days in prison for a thief who stole a car while under the influence with a blood alcohol level of 0.1%, who had a bad childhood, and was left by his spouse the day before. As a specific law does not exists for each case, the judge has to combine all applicable laws to derive a fair decision. This is only possible due to the flexibility in the definition of the words and statements used in each law.

- What Hardware Do I Need to Run fuzzyTECH?

In most technical applications, one hardware platform (development computer) is used for the developing the fuzzy logic system while a different hardware platform (target hardware) is used to run the fuzzy logic system later. fuzzyTECH's user interface that is all the graphical components you find explained on the pages of this web server, only runs on a PC. System requirements: Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 98 or Windows 95, IE 5.01 or higher 30 MB disk space, 16 MB RAM.

While the development computer always must be a PC with a MS-Windows operating system, fuzzyTECH supports a wide range of target hardware platforms: the MCU Editions generate fuzzy logic systems as assembly code, the IA Editions are delivered with special fuzzy logic function blocks, and the Professional Edition generates portable C code. An overview of the different target platforms can be found below.

- Which fuzzyTECH Is Best for My Application?

My fuzzy logic solution will run on a PC/Workstation. My application area is control engineering, sensor signal processing, or technical data analysis. The fuzzyTECH Professional Edition as the standard version provides all design tools, fuzzy technologies, and interfaces to other software systems.
Same as before, but my fuzzy logic solutions will be integrated as portable C code with other software on different target hardware platforms. The fuzzyTECH Professional Edition generates your complete fuzzy logic system as highly optimized, royalty-free C source code at the push of a button.
I would like to integrate the fuzzy logic system with other PC based software The fuzzyTECH Professional Edition comes with a large number of stand-alone runtime modules for other software packages that are provided "ready-to-use". These include process automation, measurement, and simulation software (InTouch, InControl, Matlab, LabVIEW, WinCC, WinFACT, DIAdem, Citect, VisSim, ..) and standard software (Excel, VisualBasic, VisualC++, Access, ..). In addition, all fuzzyTECH Editions provide the MS-Windows standard software interfaces.
My fuzzy logic solutions shall run on a microcontroller/DSP that is a member of one of the following families: ST-6, PIC, 8051, 8096, 80C196, 80C166, TMS-320, 374xx, HC05, HC08, HC11, HC12, . The fuzzyTECH MCU-XX Editions generate your complete fuzzy logic system as native assembly code or use an assembly code library. The code generators have been designed in close cooperation with the respective silicon manufacturers. In contrast to the fuzzyTECH Professional Edition, only fuzzy technologies that are relevant for embedded control designs on a special hardware platform are supported.
My fuzzy logic solutions will run on a microcontroller that is not a member of the families listed above. The fuzzyTECH Professional Edition supports a superset of the functionality of the fuzzyTECH MCU-XX Editions, but generates C source code that is pre-optimized for an efficient implementation on 8, 16, and 32 bit microcontrollers and DSP.
I want to optimize my fuzzy logic solution in real-time. The fuzzyTECH Professional Edition, all fuzzyTECH IA-XX Editions, and some fuzzyTECH MCU-XX Editions (as RTRCD functionality) support visualization and optimization of fuzzy logic systems running on a target hardware in real-time.
I want to use fuzzy logic in industrial automation. In cooperation with the Klockner-Moeller Corp., INFORM has developed the "fuzzyPLC™" that integrates conventional control techniques seamlessly with fuzzy logic.
My fuzzy logic solution shall run on a programmable logic controller of Allen-Bradley, Siemens, Bosch, Hartmann&Braun, ABB, or on a Foxboro distributed process control system. Inform and these manufacturers of control hardware have created dedicated fuzzyTECH Editions for these PLCs.
I want to integrate fuzzyTECH with other standard software, such as data bases, spreadsheets, and programming languages. Any fuzzyTECH Edition integrates with standard software by various MS-Windows supported links (DDE, DLL,...). For MS-Excel integration, fuzzyTECH comes with a fuzzy logic assistant that completely ties in with Excel and provides seamless integration. Process simulations can be written in any MS-Windows based programming language. A serial link feature also integrates with software running on different computers or on computer networks. A programming language interface allows you to customize fuzzyTECH in many ways using standard programming languages such as VisualBasic or Visual C++.
I want to integrate fuzzyTECH with control engineering simulation software. Any fuzzyTECH Edition generates M code at a push of a button that can be used with standard simulation software packages such as VisSim™ and Matlab™/SIMULINK™. Also, an interactive interface is provided free with any Edition of fuzzyTECH that completely integrates fuzzyTECH-based fuzzy control blocks within a VisSim simulation. Please call for specific information!

More detailed information on the different fuzzyTECH products is provided on the fuzzyTECH Editions Overview page.

- Are there any License Fees for the Code generated by fuzzyTECH or for the Runtime Modules?

No! There are no runtime license fees for any system you generated with fuzzyTECH. You may use any fuzzyTECH generated C code, assembly code, and the fuzzy logic function blocks in any way you want. You may also distribute the FTRUN modules with you solution.

- How Can I Learn About Fuzzy Logic Design Methods?

On this web server you find a comprehensive set of MS PowerPoint 97 presentations of seminars and workshops to teach yourself and others about the industrial application of fuzzy logic. The fuzzyTECH Demo that you may download from this web server as well allows you to experiment with pre-manufactured examples of fuzzy logic solutions. Learn from the experience of recent successful fuzzy logic applications in our Application Papers section. In addition to these self-teaching tools, Inform offers a wide range of traning events (seminars, workshops, symposia) that are held periodically and on-site with our clients. For an updated training schedule, please contact us via our contact form.

- How Is fuzzyTECH Supported?

Inform Software Corp. in the U.S., INFORM GmbH in Europe, and Inform/TOYO in Asia provide hotline support by phone, fax, and e-mail for licensed fuzzyTECH users. INFORM also provides consulting services and design support on request. INFORM's project teams have successfully supported numerous fuzzy logic applications worldwide over the last decade. Please contact INFORM for a quotation.

fuzzyTECH is constantly being improved and expanded on new target hardware platforms by INFORM's software engineers. New add-on Modules are developed that will support specific application areas. All licensed users of fuzzyTECH can get the latest release of their fuzzyTECH Edition as an Update any time. INFORM also offers software maintenance contracts for all fuzzyTECH Modules and Editions. For an annual fee, the latest release of fuzzyTECH is automatically sent to users up to two times a year.

- Who Is INFORM?

INFORM is a software house and consulting firm in fuzzy logic and intelligent control with offices worldwide. Please read our company profile.

Terminology

DDE Dynamic Data Exchange, a technology that allows two software programs under MS-Windows to exchange data. fuzzyTECH supports a DDE interface.
DLL Dynamic Link Library, a file containing functions that can be called by a program. fuzzyTECH uses DLLs internally to structure its code modules, but also provides DLLs as interfaces to other software programs, e.g. the FTRUN32.DLL. The FTRUN.DLL contains functions that let you compute any fuzzyTECH generated system.
DoS Degree of Support (in fuzzy rules). Adding an individual weight to each rule extends the concept of "on/off" rules to a representation where rules themselves are "fuzzy". This allows for the rule base to be fine tuned during optimization. Since the mapping of the input of the rules to the output now itself is fuzzy, this concept is often referred to as a "Fuzzy Associative Map" (FAM). The tuning parameter is called "Degree of Support".
FAM Fuzzy Associative Map; see DoS.
FTL Fuzzy Technology Language, a file format for fuzzy logic systems supported by most software and hardware vendors of fuzzy logic solutions. Developed by Intel Corp. and Inform Software Corp. in 1991, FTL allows for the exchange of fuzzy logic systems between different software and hardware tools and platforms. All fuzzyTECH Editions store their projects as FTL files. FTL is an ASCII description language and can thus be read and edited using any text editor.
FTR fuzzyTECH Runtime, a file format generated by fuzzyTECH for its runtime module. A FTR file is a binary data representation of a fuzzy logic system. Depending on the options used, a FTR file can even contain all the necessary information for fuzzyTECH to reconstruct an entire FTL file from it.
FTRUN (fuzzyTech RUNtime Module), an interface that only integrates the runtime kernel of fuzzyTECH with other software programs. FTRUN is available as 16-bit DLL (FTRUN.DLL) and 32-bit DLL (FTRUN32.DLL) available with release 5.0 of fuzzyTECH. The files are automatically placed in the /WINDOWS/SYSTEM/ subdirectory by the setup routine of fuzzyTECH. FTRUN can only open fuzzy logic systems in the *.FTR format. FTRUN is available only with the fuzzyTECH Professional Edition. Monitoring of fuzzy logic system that are computed by FTRUN is also possible with the fuzzyTECH Demo.
Online Debugging The "Online" debugging technique allows for the modification of a running fuzzy logic system "on-the-fly". In Online Debug Mode, all editors and analyzers of fuzzyTECH let you monitor the fuzzy logic inference in real time and every modification is implemented instantly on the target hardware. fuzzyTECH communicates bi-directionally with the target system at any time via a serial cable, a shared network file system (SFS), or another communication link. The real-time data is transferred from the target hardware to the graphical editors and analyzers of fuzzyTECH, allowing complete visualization of the fuzzy logic inference. Any modification to the fuzzy logic system is transferred from fuzzyTECH to the target hardware and implemented without halting this system. Remote traces can be configured and controlled from fuzzyTECH as well.
PLC Programmable Logic Controllers. These controllers are programmable and have integrated digital and analog I/O modules.They are used in industrial automation, in an harsh industrial environment.