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This work presents a new sequential learning algorithm for radial basis function (RBF) networks referred to as generalized growing and pruning algorithm for RBF (GGAP-RBF). The paper first introduces the concept of significance for the hidden neurons and then uses it in the learning algorithm to realize parsimonious networks. The growing and pruning strategy of GGAP-RBF is based on linking the required learning accuracy with the significance of the nearest or intentionally added new neuron. Significance of a neuron is a measure of the average information content of that neuron. The GGAP-RBF algorithm can be used for any arbitrary sampling density for training samples and is derived from a rigorous statistical point of view. Simulation results for bench mark problems in the function approximation area show that the GGAP-RBF outperforms several other sequential learning algorithms in terms of learning speed, network size and generalization performance regardless of the sampling density function of the training data.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2005