6.9.6. A genuinely optimum fire bucket - часть 2

Even the parameters of patients that are expressed not in real numbers, but in a kind of binary Ц Wasserman test positive/negative, Koch bacilli present/not present, HIV positive/negative, etc. Ц have 'fuzzy' borders. Laboratory analysts know this well. If you glance in any therapeutic reference book, where the symptoms of illnesses are described, normally you won't see hard numbers for body temperature, arterial pressure, haemoglobin count, etc. You'll simply see a broad categorisation: "is raised", "is lowered", and so on. Perhaps this is why programs that output a diagnosis, based on patient parameters entered into a computer, have not received wide practical application. One of difficulties in this area is translation of the parameter (a number) into a symptom (a category).

There's a generally accepted identification of three recent revolutions in programming: structural, object-oriented, and visual. But this revolutionary zeal focused more on the programs (the art for its own sake) and virtually neglected the point of programming: the models of the real world, the properties, and the events programs are simulating. Moreover, in retrospective we can see certain counter-revolutions: for example, the decline of analogue computers in favour of digital engineering. Recently, though, there has been a renaissance through the revival of principles of analogue modelling on modern digital computers (for example, the MathConnex environment included with Mathcad 7 and 8 Pro: see Appendix 7). It can similarly be seen in the technology of visual programming, where the former analogue control elements Ц adders, integrators etc. Ц are reconstructed.

But the virtual nature of these neo-analogue machines means also their strict determinism, and this brings not only positive, but also negative consequences. The principles of FST have been in programmers' hands for a long time Ц literally. The computer mouse reacts to two events: a click, and a double click. What, actually, is the difference one double click and two single? The duration of the pause between clicks. Expressed in non-technical language Ц "very short", "short", "long", etc.) this is a typical example of sets with 'fuzzy' borders. How much time is needed to increase a short pause to turn it into long, so that the double click breaks up into two single? How many handfuls of grain make a heap?

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