January 03, 2013 —
The University of Southern California’s Professor Mendel
and Ph.D Candidate Mohammad Korjani
won the distinguished Best Paper Award at the 2012 North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (NAFIPS) this August.
The paper proposes a new way of reasoning, which builds on the concepts of fuzzy logic set forth by Charles Ragin. What Professor Mendel and Korjani suggest is a way of reasoning that focuses less on facts and numbers, and more on the cause and effect. The proposed reasoning methodology discussed in the paper can be applied to the petroleum industry in a number of ways. One application would be the use of such methodology in identifying why certain oil wells produce more oil than others. Instead of focusing on the exact numerical statistics and regression of productivity for each oil well in order to identify the reasons for production levels, this technique allows each oil well to be seen as a different case. By breaking down the circumstances for oil wells, individuals using this methodology can postulate possible causes based on the unique circumstances of each case. Taking such information from the oil wells, or cases, and comparing them can help individuals to better understand in which circumstances oil wells perform well in and in which circumstances they produce poorly in. Thus, possible cause and effect theories can be formulated.
The paper crafted by Professor Mendel and Korjani marks the first time Ragin’s concepts will be used in fields outside of social science.