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Neural Networks Research and Applications

[Artificial Neural Network - SpringerLink]


- Overview

Neural networks are sometimes called artificial neural networks (ANNs) or simulated neural networks (SNNs). They are a subset of machine learning (ML), and at the heart of deep learning (DL) models. ANNs are a type of ML process that uses interconnected nodes to teach computers to process data like the human brain.

ANNs are made up of layers of interconnected nodes, each with a different role in data processing. The structure and name of ANNs is inspired by the human brain, mimicking how biological neurons signal to each other. 

In addition to the living world, in the field of ANNs in computer science, a neuron is a collection of inputs, a set of weights, and an activation function. It converts these inputs into a single output. Another layer of neurons selects this output as input, and so on. In essence, we can say that each neuron is a mathematical function that closely models the function of biological neurons.

ANNs are used to solve problems in artificial intelligence (AI). They model the connections of biological neurons as weights between nodes. A positive weight reflects an excitatory connection, while negative values mean inhibitory connections. All inputs are modified by a weight and summed. 

Please refer to the following for more information:


Neural Networks: Mathematical Replication of Brain to AI

In layman's terms, a neural network is a network that receives input, processes it, and produces an output while learning from the data it acquires. 

The brain's neural network is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons. Neurons communicate using electrical signals. Dendrites are tree-like structures in neurons that receive communications from other neurons and send them through the cell body.  Signals are transmitted through axons to other neurons. 

This process occurs among the billions of neurons in the brain, forming this massive system that eventually becomes self-sustaining (with thoughts, emotions, and desires). 

In contrast, neural networks in artificial intelligence (AI) can only use simplified mathematical models to simulate certain parts of neurons, such as dendrites, cell bodies, or axons. It is more specialized for specific tasks because it cannot create or destroy connections between neurons or ignore signal timing.


- Artificial Neurons (Perceptrons) in Neural Networks

In a neural network, a neuron is the basic unit of processing, also known as a perceptron. Neurons are nodes that receive input signals, perform calculations, and send output signals to other neurons. They are a critical component of any deep learning model.

The word "neural" was inspired by the word "neuron", and we all know what a neuron is. It helps humans process information and generate output through the brain. This neuron is interconnected with millions of other neurons. The same thing happens in AI. Neural networks also interconnect artificial neurons called "nodes". We also call it an artificial neural network (ANN). 

Neural networks use interconnected nodes, or neurons, in a layered structure to process data. These neurons work together to solve complex problems. The original goal of neural networks was to create a computational system that could solve problems like a human brain. However, researchers have since shifted their focus to using neural networks to match specific tasks. 

Neural networks are often described in terms of their depth, or the number of layers between input and output. Signals travel from the first layer (the input layer) to the last layer (the output layer), possibly passing through multiple intermediate layers (hidden layers). 


- ANNs: A Type of Machine Learning Process

Neural networks are a type of ML process that teach computers to process data in a way that mimics the human brain. They are a type of deep learning (DL) that uses interconnected nodes, or neurons, in a layered structure.

Neural networks are a key element of DL and AI. What exactly is a neural network trying to do? Like any other model, it tries to make a good prediction. We have a set of inputs and a set of target values ​​- we're trying to get predictions that match those target values ​​as closely as possible. 

Neural networks solve various real-time tasks because of their ability to perform computations quickly and their fast responses. A neural network creates an adaptive system that computers can use to learn from their mistakes and continually improve. 

ANNs therefore attempt to solve complex problems, such as summarizing documents or identifying faces, with greater accuracy.


- The Roles of Neural Networks

The design of neural networks is based on the structure of the human brain. Just as we use the brain to recognize patterns and classify different types of information, neural networks can be taught to perform the same tasks on data. 

The layers of a neural network can also be thought of as a kind of "coarse-to-fine filters", increasing the likelihood of detection and output of the correct result. The human brain works in a similar way. Whenever we receive new information, the brain tries to compare it with known objects. Deep neural networks also use the same concept. 

Neural networks allow us to perform many tasks such as clustering, classification or regression. Using neural networks, we can group or rank unlabeled data based on the similarity between samples in the data. Or in the case of classification, we can train the network on a labeled dataset in order to classify the samples in that dataset into different classes. 

Neural networks can help computers make intelligent decisions with limited human assistance. This is because they can learn and model the relationships between input and output data that are nonlinear and complex.

ANNs have the unique ability to enable deep learning models to solve tasks that ML models could never solve. 

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- Neural Networks and AI Research

Neural networks are an important area of ​​AI research and are currently proving valuable for more natural user interfaces through speech recognition and natural language processing, allowing humans to interact with machines in the same way they interact with each other. 

By design, neural networks mimic the biological functions of animal brains to interpret and respond to specific inputs, such as words and intonation. As the underlying technology continues to evolve, AI has the potential to enhance online learning, adaptive learning software, and simulations in ways that more intuitively respond to and engage with students. 

While neural networks (also known as "perceptrons") have been around since the 1940s, they haven't become a staple of AI until the last few decades. This is due to the advent of a technique called "backpropagation," which allows a network to adjust its hidden layers of neurons if the results don't match what the creators wanted -- such as those designed to recognize dogs network, it will misidentify, for example, a cat.

Another important advance has been the arrival of deep learning neural networks, where different layers of a multi-layered network extract different features until it can identify what it is looking for. 

The idea of ​​DL is: use brain simulations with the hope of: 

  • making learning algorithms better and easier to use. 
  • Revolutionary advances in machine ML and AI. 

This is our best chance to move towards true artificial intelligence.


- Why are Neural Networks Important?

Neural networks can help computers make informed decisions with limited human assistance. This is because they can learn and model non-linear and complex relationships between input and output data. For example, they can perform the following tasks.

Make generalizations and inferences. Neural networks can understand unstructured data and make general observations without explicit training. 

For example, they can recognize that two different input sentences have similar meanings:

  • Can you tell me how to pay?
  • How do I transfer money?

The neural network will know that the two sentences mean the same thing. Or it could broadly identify Baxter Road as a place, but Baxter Smith as a person's name. 

Computer vision uses convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to process visual data at the pixel level and deep learning recurrent neural networks (RNNs) to understand the relationship between one pixel and another.

DL algorithms such as convolutional neural networks and recurrent neural networks are used in supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning tasks, based on the specific problem and availability of data.


- Some Examples of ANNs

ANNs can be trained using a training set. For example, if you want to teach an ANN to recognize a cat, you can show it thousands of different images of cats so that the network can learn to identify a cat.  

Here are some examples of ANNs: 

  • Feedforward neural networks (FNNs): The most basic type of ANN. In this network, data moves in one direction from the input nodes to the hidden nodes and then to the output layer. FNNs are mainly used for pattern recognition, classification, and regression tasks.
  • Recurrent neural networks (RNNs): A RNN is a type of neural network designed to process sequences of data, making it particularly well-suited for tasks involving sequential or time-series data.”
  • Convolutional neural networks (CNNs): A network architecture for deep learning algorithms. CNNs are used for image recognition and tasks that involve processing pixel data.
  • Deep neural networks (DNNs): Deal with training large neural networks with complex input output transformations. One example of DNNs is mapping a photo to the name of the person(s) in photo as they do on social networks.
[More to come ...]
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