### A logic for approximate reasoning

Mingsheng Ying
1994 Journal of Symbolic Logic (JSL)
Classical logic is not adequate to face the essential vagueness of human reasoning, which is approximate rather than precise in nature. The logical treatment of the concepts of vagueness and approximation is of increasing importance in artificial intelligence and related research. Consequently, many logicians have proposed different systems of many-valued logic as a formalization of approximate reasoning (see, for example, Goguen [G], Gerla and Tortora [GT], Novak [No], Pavelka [P], and Takeuti
more » ... ka [P], and Takeuti and Titani [TT]). As far as we know, all the proposals are obtained by extending the range of truth values of propositions. In these logical systems reasoning is still exact and to make a conclusion the antecedent clause of its rule must match its premise exactly. In addition. Wang [W] pointed out: "If we compare calculation with proving,... Procedures of calculation... can be made so by fairly well-developed methods of approximation; whereas... we do not have a clear conception of approximate methods in theorem proving.... The concept of approximate proofs, though undeniably of another kind than approximations in numerical calculations, is not incapable of more exact formulation in terms of, say, sketches of and gradual improvements toward a correct proof" (see pp, 224–225). As far as the author is aware, however, no attempts have been made to give a conception of approximate methods in theorem proving. The purpose of this paper is. unlike all the previous proposals, to develop a propositional calculus, a predicate calculus in which the truth values of propositions are still true or false exactly and in which the reasoning may be approximate and allow the antecedent clause of a rule to match its premise only approximately. In a forthcoming paper we shall establish set theory, based on the logic introduced here, in which there are ∣L∣ binary predicates ∈ λ , λ ∈ L such that R(∈, ∈ λ ) = λ where ∈ stands for ∈1 and 1 is the greatest element in L, and x ∈ λ y is interpreted as that x belongs to y in the degree of λ, and relate it to intuitionistic fuzzy set theory of Takeuti and Titani [TT] and intuitionistic modal set theory of Lano [L]. In another forthcoming paper we shall introduce the resolution principle under approximate match and illustrate its applications in production systems of artificial intelligence.