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Comparison of adaptive methods for function estimation from samples

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3 Author(s)
Cherkassky, V. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis, MN, USA ; Gehring, D. ; Mulier, F.

The problem of estimating an unknown function from a finite number of noisy data points has fundamental importance for many applications. This problem has been studied in statistics, applied mathematics, engineering, artificial intelligence, and, more recently, in the fields of artificial neural networks, fuzzy systems, and genetic optimization. In spite of many papers describing individual methods, very little is known about the comparative predictive (generalization) performance of various methods. We discuss subjective and objective factors contributing to the difficult problem of meaningful comparisons. We also describe a pragmatic framework for comparisons between various methods, and present a detailed comparison study comprising several thousand individual experiments. Our approach to comparisons is biased toward general (nonexpert) users. Our study uses six representative methods described using a common taxonomy. Comparisons performed on artificial data sets provide some insights on applicability of various methods. No single method proved to be the best, since a method's performance depends significantly on the type of the target function, and on the properties of training data

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Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:7 ,  Issue: 4 )