Autonomous self-configuration of artificial neural networks for data classification or system control
Space Exploration Technologies II
Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are powerful methods for the classification of multi-dimensional data as well as for the control of dynamic systems. In general terms, ANNs consist of neurons that are, e.g., arranged in layers and interconnected by real-valued or binary neural couplings or weights. ANNs try mimicking the processing taking place in biological brains. The classification and generalization capabilities of ANNs are given by the interconnection architecture and the coupling
... s. To perform a certain classification or control task with a particular ANN architecture (i.e., number of neurons, number of layers, etc.), the inter-neuron couplings and their accordant coupling strengths must be determined (1) either by a priori design (i.e., manually) or (2) using training algorithms such as error back-propagation. The more complex the classification or control task, the less obvious it is how to determine an a priori design of an ANN, and, as a consequence, the architecture choice becomes somewhat arbitrary. Furthermore, rather than being able to determine for a given architecture directly the corresponding coupling strengths necessary to perform the classification or control task, these have to be obtained/learned through training of the ANN on test data. We report on the use of a Stochastic Optimization Framework (SOF; Fink, SPIE 2008) for the autonomous self-configuration of Artificial Neural Networks (i.e., the determination of number of hidden layers, number of neurons per hidden layer, interconnections between neurons, and respective coupling strengths) for performing classification or control tasks. This may provide an approach towards cognizant and self-adapting computing architectures and systems.