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A new pruning heuristic based on variance analysis of sensitivity information

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1 Author(s)
Engelbrecht, A.P. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Pretoria Univ., South Africa

Architecture selection is a very important aspect in the design of neural networks (NNs) to optimally tune performance and computational complexity. Sensitivity analysis has been used successfully to prune irrelevant parameters from feedforward NNs. This paper presents a new pruning algorithm that uses the sensitivity analysis to quantify the relevance of input and hidden units. A new statistical pruning heuristic is proposed, based on the variance analysis, to decide which units to prune. The basic idea is that a parameter with a variance in sensitivity not significantly different from zero, is irrelevant and can be removed. Experimental results show that the new pruning algorithm correctly prunes irrelevant input and hidden units. The new pruning algorithm is also compared with standard pruning algorithms

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Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 6 )