Abstract: This paper presents and compares two views of the theory of rough sets. The operator-oriented view interprets rough set theory as an extension of set theory with two additional unary operators. Under such a view, lower and upper approximations are related to the interior and closure operators in topological spaces, the necessity and possibility operators in modal logic, and lower and upper approximations in interval structures. The set-oriented view focuses on the interpretation and characterization of members of rough sets. Iwinski type rough sets are formed by pairs of definable (composed) sets, which are related to the notion of interval sets. Pawlak type rough sets are defined based on equivalence classes of an equivalence relation on the power set. The relation is defined by the lower and upper approximations. In both cases, rough sets may be interpreted by, or related to, families of subsets of the universe, i.e., elements of a rough set are subsets of the universe. Alternatively, rough sets may be interpreted using elements of the universe based on the notion of rough membership functions. Both operator-oriented and set-oriented views are useful in the understanding and application of the theory of rough sets.
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