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The parameterless self-organizing map (PLSOM) is a new neural network algorithm based on the self-organizing map (SOM). It eliminates the need for a learning rate and annealing schemes for learning rate and neighborhood size. We discuss the relative performance of the PLSOM and the SOM and demonstrate some tasks in which the SOM fails but the PLSOM performs satisfactory. Finally we discuss some example applications of the PLSOM and present a proof of ordering under certain limited conditions.