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Fuzzy rule-based systems (FRBSs) have been successfully applied to many areas. However, traditional fuzzy systems are often manually crafted, and their rule bases that represent the acquired knowledge are static and cannot be trained to improve the modeling performance. This subsequently leads to intensive research on the autonomous construction and tuning of a fuzzy system directly from the observed training data to address the knowledge acquisition bottleneck, resulting in well-established hybrids such as neural-fuzzy systems (NFSs) and genetic fuzzy systems (GFSs). However, the complex and dynamic nature of real-world problems demands that fuzzy rule-based systems and models be able to adapt their parameters and ultimately evolve their rule bases to address the nonstationary (time-varying) characteristics of their operating environments. Recently, considerable research efforts have been directed to the study of evolving Tagaki-Sugeno (T-S)-type NFSs based on the concept of incremental learning. In contrast, there are very few incremental learning Mamdani-type NFSs reported in the literature. Hence, this paper presents the evolving neural-fuzzy semantic memory (eFSM) model, a neural-fuzzy Mamdani architecture with a data-driven progressively adaptive structure (i.e., rule base) based on incremental learning. Issues related to the incremental learning of the eFSM rule base are carefully investigated, and a novel parameter learning approach is proposed for the tuning of the fuzzy set parameters in eFSM. The proposed eFSM model elicits highly interpretable semantic knowledge in the form of Mamdani-type if-then fuzzy rules from low-level numeric training data. These Mamdani fuzzy rules define the computing structure of eFSM and are incrementally learned with the arrival of each training data sample. New rules are constructed from the emergence of novel training data and obsolete fuzzy rules that no longer describe the recently observed data trends are pruned. T- - his enables eFSM to maintain a current and compact set of Mamdani-type if-then fuzzy rules that collectively generalizes and describes the salient associative mappings between the inputs and outputs of the underlying process being modeled. The learning and modeling performances of the proposed eFSM are evaluated using several benchmark applications and the results are encouraging.