## Computing with Words (CW or CWW)—A Paradigm Shift by Lotfi A. Zadeh

August 18, 2011

Computing with Words (CW or CWW) is a system of computation which offers an important capability that traditional systems of computation do not have—a capability to compute with information described in a natural language. In the main, CW is concerned with solution of problems which are stated in a natural language. The importance of CW derives from the fact that much of human knowledge is perception-based and is described in a natural language.

The point of departure in CW is a question, q, of the form: What is the value of a variable, X? q is associated with a question-relevant information set, I, an association expressed as X is I, meaning that the answer to q, Ans(q/I), is to be deduced (computed) from I. Typically, I consists of a collection of propositions, p1, …, pn, which individually or collectively are carriers of information about the value of X. In I, some or all of the pi, i=1, …, n,  are expressed in a natural language. Some of the pi may be drawn from external sources of information, typically from world knowledge. I is open if it includes propositions drawn from external sources of information. I is closed if inclusion is not allowed.

Precisiation of meaning is a prerequisite to computation with information which is described in a natural language. If p is a proposition drawn from a natural language, then precisiation of p leads to a computation-ready proposition, p*, which may be viewed as a computational meaning of p or, equivalently, as a model of p. p* is assumed to be mathematically well-defined and is intended to serve as an object of computation. In CW, there are two levels of generality, Level 1 and Level 2. In Level 1, the carriers of information are words. In the more recent Level 2 CW, the carriers of information are words and propositions. Today, the bulk of the literature is still focused on Level 1 CW. In particular, the widely used calculi of fuzzy if-then rules fall within the province of Level 1 CW.

Computation of Ans(q/I) is carried out in two phases. Phase 1, called Precisiation, involves precisiation of q and I, leading to precisiated q, q*, and precisiated I, I*. Phase 2, called Computation, involves computation with q* and I*, leading to Ans(q/I). This is done through the use of an aggregation function which has the pi* as its arguments. In CW, the pi* are represented as generalized assignment statements or, equivalently, as generalized constraints. Computation with the pi* involves propagation and counterpropagation of generalized constraints. In CW, precisiation and computation employ the machinery of fuzzy logic.

CW has important applications to decision analysis, question-answering systems, system modeling, specification and optimization, and mechanization of natural language understanding. Basically, CW opens the door to a wide-ranging enlargement of the role of natural languages in scientific theories.

## CWW—why we need a major reform in Chinese language?

August 17, 2011

From Paul Wang:

As you are aware,my heritage is Chinese culture and language.I was ,frankly,shocked to learn the following facts about Chinese language.

1)There are two major reforms in the 20th century alone.In both reforms,some progress have been made,but far from solving fundamental problems!

2)Can you believe there is no” grammar” for Chinese language?Several books are beginning to appear,but all aim med for non Chinese speakers how to learn Chinese!Most are self styled,some of them have very little training,like myself,in linguistics.

3)Many books,some of them I find out to be hundred/hundreds years old written by European and American experts in linguistics or highly regarded literatures authors.They all frankly pointed out the ‘weakness’ of Chinese language as compared with other languages.By no means,the Chinese language is at the bottom,but not at the top for sure!

On the other side of the coin,Chinese language has many “strong” points as well.We will avoid the debate here because this issue has always been widely and intensively debated!

An important factor must be taken into consideration at this juncture in time;that is the usage of digital computer and only then,we now know what to expect or what ought to be a language which is friendly to “computer”.An important case in point is CWW.CWW is the product of research in AI and the design of the expert system.

However,my argument is that there are so many things which are fundamental to the usage of a language.I quo t few of them here simply to show the need of a major reform:

1)In US alone,there is a trend developed that many grammar school kids choose to learn Chinese over,say,German.If the trend continues,a huge demand on learning Chinese must occur.If you look at Barnes Noble or Borders language section,many publications aimed at Chinese language learning have already crowded the book displays.

2)Historical experience has taught us that majority of Chinese speaking people are against to abandon Chinese language.Then the digital library and preservations of Chinese arts etc. must be coped with.

3)Huge knowledge base is there to help us reform Chinese language and the outcome can be a real surprise in terms of efficiency,productivity and economic growth!

The conclusion is that we must get together to discuss the issues.This is,frankly,something Chinese speaking governments everywhere must do.However,some of them are so carried over by the huge scope of research in didigtal computer and neglect the most fundamental problem important to them!

We are serious in our first effort in organizing a smaller scale workshop on CWW–Chinese language and we need your help in spread the words,suggest the topics,as well as who may be a speaker or contributors?

Some of you have indeed advised many PhD theses on this or related topics and we really do need you assistance in order to get the ball rolling!

For those of you already responded,we do appreciate your sincere effort and your high ideal of glorify a wonderful “ideographical based ” language.To make it useful,functional as well as elegance!

We look forward to your help and participation!

## Computing With Words website

August 15, 2011

On behalf of SMU & Scientific Journal NM&NC by WSPC,[ISSN:1793-7027],we are pleased to announce a  new CWW, Computing With Words, a site serving 600 existing as well as manynew special interested groups & friends .

Participation & Suggestions welcome!