Kosko is a political and religious skeptic. He is a contributing editor of the libertarian periodical Liberty , where he has published essays on "Palestinian vouchers". He has also published short fiction and the cyber-thriller novel Nanotime, about a possible World War III that takes place in two days of the year Kosko has a minimalist prose style, not even using commas in his several books. In fuzzy logic, he introduced fuzzy cognitive maps , [3] [4] fuzzy subsethood, [5] additive fuzzy systems, [6] fuzzy approximation theorems, [7] optimal fuzzy rules, [8] fuzzy associative memories, various neural-based adaptive fuzzy systems, [6] ratio measures of fuzziness, [5] the shape of fuzzy sets, [9] the conditional variance of fuzzy systems, [10] and the geometric view of finite fuzzy sets as points in hypercubes and its relationship to the ongoing debate of fuzziness versus probability. In neural networks, Kosko introduced the unsupervised technique of differential Hebbian learning , [11] sometimes called the "differential synapse," and most famously the BAM or bidirectional associative memory [12] family of feedback neural architectures, with corresponding global stability theorems.

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At least, I think I finished it. It just sort of stopped. Bart Kosko is an electrical engineering professor at USC. He has written books on topics like fuzzy logic not to be confused with wooly thinking.

This book is on noise, as opposed to signal, but taken in the broad sometimes metaphorical sense. So, we learn about things like how "urban great tits" sic sing at higher minimum frequencies in urban areas, just I recently finished reading "Noise", by Bart Kosko. So, we learn about things like how "urban great tits" sic sing at higher minimum frequencies in urban areas, just to be heard over all the clatter of the city.

Or that a humpback whale song can be decibels loud in water, not quite as loud as a rocket engine, but louder than a jet engine or a 12 gauge shotgun kind of blows their New Age image, for me. Or that the actress Hedy Lamarr was co-inventor with a composer and writer named George Antheil of frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication, despite neither she nor Antheil having any formal background or experience in related fields. There are a few parts you may want to skim, if for example the idea that much of the "real world" noise that engineers assume is Gaussian, may really be Cauchian, is not one which seems to you worth spending some time to consider.

Gaussian noise assumes that the random, background stuff is distributed like a bell, with a tiny bit of a flare. That kind of noise is like wind noise on the beach at night. Sometimes this is called "popcorn noise", because like popcorn popping there are occasional random events that are way bigger than the norm.

But, if we design everything with normal noise in mind, and what we get is popcorn noise instead, we could be in trouble. Which is where I thought Kosko was headed with this book. Instead, he takes a kind of aimless walk through a bunch of topics on noise, then stops.

Not stops the aimlessness, just stops the book. Maybe he ran out of steam, and it was time to close the thing and collect the paycheck? Maybe the topic of noise is inherently hard to organize into a coherent narrative? No matter, I liked the book anyway. Consider it bad branding: this is actually a book of essays on the topic of noise, incorrectly labeled as chapters. Enjoy the one about the difference between pink noise and brown noise, or why white noise is impossible. Then, whenever Kosko runs out of topics to tell you about, just stop.


Bart Kosko






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