Computational intelligence is a rapidly growing research field including a wide variety of problem-solving techniques inspired by nature. Computational intelligence consists of three major research areas: Neural Networks, Fuzzy Systems, and Evolutionary Computation. Neural networks are mathematical models inspired by brains.
Neural networks have massively parallel network structures with many neurons and weighted connections. Whereas each neuron has a simple input-output relation, a neural network with many neurons can realize a highly non-linear complicated mapping. Connection weights between neurons can be adjusted in an automated manner by a learning algorithm to realize a non-linear mapping required in a particular application task.
Fuzzy systems are mathematical models proposed to handle inherent fuzziness in natural language. For example, it is very difficult to mathematically define the meaning of “cold” in everyday conversations such as “It is cold today” and “Can I have cold water”. The meaning of “cold” may be different in a different situation. Even in the same situation, a different person may have a different meaning. Fuzzy systems offer a mathematical mechanism to handle inherent fuzziness in natural language. As a result, fuzzy systems have been successfully applied to real-world problems by extracting linguistic knowledge from human experts in the form of fuzzy IF-THEN rules.
Evolutionary computation includes various population-based search algorithms inspired by evolution in nature. Those algorithms usually have the following three mechanisms: fitness evaluation to measure the quality of each solution, selection to choose good solutions from the current population, and variation operators to generate offspring from parents. Evolutionary computation has high applicability to a wide range of optimization problems with different characteristics since it does not need any explicit mathematical formulations of objective functions.