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The theory of fuzzy sets has been recognized as a suitable tool to model several kinds of patterns that can hold in data. In this paper, we are concerned with the development of a general model to discover association rules among items in a (crisp) set of fuzzy transactions. This general model can be particularized in several ways; each particular instance corresponds to a certain kind of pattern and/or repository of data. We describe some applications of this scheme, paying special attention to the discovery of fuzzy association rules in relational databases.