Thursday, July 5, 2007

Artificial Neural Networks - Their Use and Their Application

Neural networks, with their remarkable ability to derive meaning from complicated or imprecise data, can be used to extract patterns and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer techniques.
Other advantages include:

Adaptive learning: An ability to learn how to do tasks based on the data given for training or initial experience.
Self-Organisation: An ANN can create its own organisation or representation of the information it receives during learning time.
Real Time Operation: ANN computations may be carried out in parallel, and special hardware devices are being designed and manufactured which take advantage of this capability.
Fault Tolerance via Redundant Information Coding: Partial destruction of a network leads to the corresponding degradation of performance.
Neural networks process information in a similar way the human brain does. The network is composed of a large number of highly interconnected processing elements(neurones) working in parallel to solve a specific problem.

An artificial neuron is a device with many inputs and one output. The neuron has two modes of operation; the training mode and the using mode. In the training mode, the neuron can be trained to fire (or not), for particular input patterns. In the using mode, when a taught input pattern is detected at the input, its associated output becomes the current output. If the input pattern does not belong in the taught list of input patterns, the firing rule is used to determine whether to fire or not.

Applications of neural networks:

*sales forecasting

*industrial process control

*customer research

*data validation

*risk management

*target marketing

The computing world has a lot to gain front neural networks. Their ability to learn by example makes them very flexible and powerful. Furthermore there is no need to devise an algorithm in order to perform a specific task; i.e. there is no need to understand the internal mechanisms of that task. They are also very well suited for real time systems because of their fast response and computational times which are due to their parallel architecture.

Neural networks also contribute to other areas of research such as neurology and psychology. They are regularly used to model parts of living organisms and to investigate the internal mechanisms of the brain.

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