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This volume presents the results of approximately 15 years of work from researchers around the world on the use of fuzzy set theory to represent imprecision in databases. The maturity of the research in the discipline and the recent developments in commercial/industrial fuzzy databases provided an opportunity to produce this survey. In this introduction we will describe briefly how fuzzy databases fit into the overall design of database systems and then overview the organization of the text. FUZZY DATABASE LANDSCAPE The last five years have been witness to a revolution in the database research community. The dominant data models have changed and the consensus on what constitutes worthwhile research is in flux. Also, at this time, it is possible to gain a perspective on what has been accomplished in the area of fuzzy databases. Therefore, now is an opportune time to take stock of the past and establish a framework. A framework should assist in evaluating future research through a better understanding of the different aspects of imprecision that a database can model [ 1 l.
Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
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