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The selection of weight accuracies for Madalines

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1 Author(s)
Piche, S.W. ; Microelectron. & Comput. Technol. Corp., Austin, TX, USA

The sensitivity of the outputs of a neural network to perturbations in its weights is an important consideration in both the design of hardware realizations and in the development of training algorithms for neural networks. In designing dense, high-speed realizations of neural networks, understanding the consequences of using simple neurons with significant weight errors is important. Similarly, in developing training algorithms, it is important to understand the effects of small weight changes to determine the required precision of the weight updates at each iteration. In this paper, an analysis of the sensitivity of feedforward neural networks (Madalines) to weight errors is considered. We focus our attention on Madalines composed of sigmoidal, threshold, and linear units. Using a stochastic model for weight errors, we derive simple analytical expressions for the variance of the output error of a Madaline. These analytical expressions agree closely with simulation results. In addition, we develop a technique for selecting the appropriate accuracy of the weights in a neural network realization. Using this technique, we compare the required weight precision for threshold versus sigmoidal Madalines. We show that for a given desired variance of the output error, the weights of a threshold Madaline must be more accurate

Published in:

Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 1995

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