Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-17-92


Experts have different degrees of confidence in their statements. To describe these different degrees of confidence, Lotfi A. Zadeh proposed the notion of a Z-number: a fuzzy set (or other type of uncertainty) supplemented by a degree of confidence in the statement corresponding to fuzzy sets. In this chapter, we show that Z-numbers provide a natural formalization of the competence-vs-confidence dichotomy, which is especially important for educating low-income students. We also show that Z-numbers provide a natural theoretical explanation for several empirically heuristic techniques of dimension reduction in data analysis, such as Laplacian and Schroedinger eigenmaps, and, moreover, show how these methods can be further improved.