Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Optimization in an Error Backpropagation Neural Network Environment with a Performance Test on a Pattern Classification Problem

Fischer, Manfred M. and Staufer, Petra (1998): Optimization in an Error Backpropagation Neural Network Environment with a Performance Test on a Pattern Classification Problem. Published in: Geographical Analysis , Vol. 31, No. 3 (1999): pp. 89-108.

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Abstract

Various techniques of optimizing the multiple class cross-entropy error function to train single hidden layer neural network classifiers with softmax output transfer functions are investigated on a real-world multispectral pixel-by-pixel classification problem that is of fundamental importance in remote sensing. These techniques include epoch-based and batch versions of backpropagation of gradient descent, PR-conjugate gradient and BFGS quasi-Newton errors. The method of choice depends upon the nature of the learning task and whether one wants to optimize learning for speed or generalization performance. It was found that, comparatively considered, gradient descent error backpropagation provided the best and most stable out-of-sample performance results across batch and epoch-based modes of operation. If the goal is to maximize learning speed and a sacrifice in generalisation is acceptable, then PR-conjugate gradient error backpropagation tends to be superior. If the training set is very large, stochastic epoch-based versions of local optimizers should be chosen utilizing a larger rather than a smaller epoch size to avoid inacceptable instabilities in the generalization results.

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