Friday, September 26, 2008

The Most Simple Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks

I would like to share you a good stuff on learning the basic of Artificial Neural Networks.

Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), often refer to as Neural Networks, is one of the most well-known tool in Machine Learning. There are many websites available which provide basic theory of Neural Networks so I will not cover them here.

The hard part about ANNs is the Mathematics involed, how to implement them, and apply them to good use. There are many articles in that try to present the ANNs in a simple, reusable ways. But, in my personal opinion, they are all hard to understand and reuse. I had read some of these articles once and I found that most of the content are too advanced. I just need to know a very basic part of ANNs and put them into good use, in short time.

I also have to admit that, sometimes, Object-oriented and Reusability are what make the code more harder to understand than it should be. I just need a "top-to-bottom" code in single method that explains what is going on. Distributing the data and logic in OO style is just not suitable for the purpose of learning algorithm.

Then, I came across this page: Implementing a Neural Network in C. This page explains very briefly everything you need to know and implementing an ANNs. And, most of all, the code is in non-object-oriented C language! That makes it is easy to learn and understand. I then followed the article with Java and everything was fine. I could adapt it to my homework problem at the university and got quite good result.

Finally, I really recommend this page to everyone who need to get started with ANNs, quick :)

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