Input variable selection for multi-layer neural networks

Junichi Murata, Toru Nakazono, Kotaro Hirasawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method is proposed for selecting relevant input variables to multi-layer neural networks. A minimal set of inputs is selected which is necessary to obtain a network with a good generalization ability and some insight into the input-output relationship. The inputs of network are selected automatically by a combination of constructive and destructive algorithms. The constructive algorithm starts with a minimal input set and adds new inputs if necessary, while the destructive algorithm deletes unnecessary inputs. The main issue addressed here is the measure of input significance used in the constructive algorithm. Some measures are proposed based on mutual infomation and linear correlation paying much attention to the structural constraint imposed on the networks. The experimental results show that the measures are valid and that the derived network with the selected inputs has a good generalization ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalResearch Reports on Information Science and Electrical Engineering of Kyushu University
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science(all)


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