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Approximate reasoning systems facilitate fuzzy inference through activating fuzzy if–then rules in which attribute values are imprecisely described. Fuzzy rule interpolation (FRI) supports such reasoning with sparse rule bases where certain observations may not match any existing fuzzy rules, through manipulation of rules that bear similarity with an unmatched observation. This differs from classical rule-based inference that requires direct pattern matching between observations and the given rules. FRI techniques have been continuously investigated for decades, resulting in various types of approach. Traditionally, it is typically assumed that all antecedent attributes in the rules are of equal significance in deriving the consequents. Recent studies have shown significant interest in developing enhanced FRI mechanisms where the rule antecedent attributes are associated with relative weights, signifying their different importance levels in influencing the generation of the conclusion, thereby improving the interpolation performance. This survey presents a systematic review of both traditional and recently developed FRI methodologies, categorised accordingly into two major groups: FRI with non-weighted rules and FRI with weighted rules. It introduces, and analyses, a range of commonly used representatives chosen from each of the two categories, offering a comprehensive tutorial for this important soft computing approach to rule-based inference. A comparative analysis of different FRI techniques is provided both within each category and between the two, highlighting the main strengths and limitations while applying such FRI mechanisms to different problems. Furthermore, commonly adopted criteria for FRI algorithm evaluation are outlined, and recent developments on weighted FRI methods are presented in a unified pseudo-code form, easing their understanding and facilitating their comparisons.
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