The primary goal of this research is to provide computational tools, or aids, to engineering designers, particularly for the preliminary phase of design. Such aids will be particularly useful in choosing between alternative technologies. Design choices of this nature are perhaps the most critical, and likely to be the most costly if in error. Our approach has been to aid preliminary design decisions with analysis tools developed for computations on imprecise parameters. Contemporary computers and algorithms are not well suited for manipulating imprecise descriptions of objects. To provide these basic tools, we are applying the mathematics of fuzzy sets. This approach (along with “data-driven programming”) appears to be well suited to our problem and has been applied to similar problems in analyzing civil engineering structures and failures.

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