What are Neural Networks?

What are Neural Networks?

I really like Maureen Caudill’s definition of Neural Networks, “a computing system made up of a number of simple, highly interconnected processing elements, which process information by their dynamic state response to external inputs”. In short, much like any other thing computer related, something is input, that something then gets processed, and something else gets output.

The catch is that Neural Networks try to mimic how the brain works, by processing information through interconnected processing elements called nodes grouped by layers.

These nodes contain an activation function. Patterns are presented to the network via the input layer, which communicates with one or more hidden layers where the actual processing is done via a system of weighted connections. The hidden layers then link to an output layer where the answer to the problem it’s trying to solve is output.

Don’t get too hung up if this is not making much sense, just continue, some people only understand theory through practicing.


What is next?