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Maximum likelihood training of probabilistic neural networks

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2 Author(s)
R. L. Streit ; Naval Underwater Syst. Center, New London, CT, USA ; T. E. Luginbuhl

A maximum likelihood method is presented for training probabilistic neural networks (PNN's) using a Gaussian kernel, or Parzen window. The proposed training algorithm enables general nonlinear discrimination and is a generalization of Fisher's method for linear discrimination. Important features of maximum likelihood training for PNN's are: 1) it economizes the well known Parzen window estimator while preserving feedforward NN architecture, 2) it utilizes class pooling to generalize classes represented by small training sets, 3) it gives smooth discriminant boundaries that often are “piece-wise flat” for statistical robustness, 4) it is very fast computationally compared to backpropagation, and 5) it is numerically stable. The effectiveness of the proposed maximum likelihood training algorithm is assessed using nonparametric statistical methods to define tolerance intervals on PNN classification performance

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 5 )