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The central problem in training a radial basis function neural network is the selection of hidden layer neurons. In this paper, we propose to select hidden layer neurons based on data structure preserving criterion. Data structure denotes relative location of samples in the high-dimensional space. By preserving the data structure of samples including those that are close to separation boundaries between different classes, the neuron subset selected retains the separation margin underlying the full set of hidden layer neurons. As a direct result, the network obtained tends to generalize well.