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Universal approximation using incremental constructive feedforward networks with random hidden nodes

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According to conventional neural network theories, single-hidden-layer feedforward networks (SLFNs) with additive or radial basis function (RBF) hidden nodes are universal approximators when all the parameters of the networks are allowed adjustable. However, as observed in most neural network implementations, tuning all the parameters of the networks may cause learning complicated and inefficient, and it may be difficult to train networks with nondifferential activation functions such as threshold networks. Unlike conventional neural network theories, this paper proves in an incremental constructive method that in order to let SLFNs work as universal approximators, one may simply randomly choose hidden nodes and then only need to adjust the output weights linking the hidden layer and the output layer. In such SLFNs implementations, the activation functions for additive nodes can be any bounded nonconstant piecewise continuous functions g:R→R and the activation functions for RBF nodes can be any integrable piecewise continuous functions g:R→R and ∫Rg(x)dx≠0. The proposed incremental method is efficient not only for SFLNs with continuous (including nondifferentiable) activation functions but also for SLFNs with piecewise continuous (such as threshold) activation functions. Compared to other popular methods such a new network is fully automatic and users need not intervene the learning process by manually tuning control parameters.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )