Regulatory standards may be based solely on scientific and technical data showing the adverse effects of noise on public health. Usually other aspects such as social, economic and cultural conditions are also considered. In this paper, the vagueness naturally arising in this process is formally recognized and put into a fuzzy set theoretical framework for the first time. A reference system including an unacceptable level and a sustainable level, which are both represented by fuzzy sets, and a crisp policy goal is proposed. The mathematics required to (linguistically) evaluate a situation based on these limits are given. Uncertainty in determining the indicator values can be included in the evaluation. However, the proposed fuzzy evaluation system has the interesting property that it can be reduced to a very simple calculation when the vagueness arises mainly from the limits. The paper also proposes a system for integrating this evaluation over a large population. Several examples are given to illustrate the use of the proposed technique.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2003
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