Neural networks: further insights into error function, generalized weights and others

Posted On 2016-12-27 15:52:35

The article is a continuum of a previous one providing further insights into the structure of neural network (NN). Key concepts of NN including activation function, error function, learning rate and generalized weights are introduced. NN topology can be visualized with generic plot() function by passing a “nn” class object. Generalized weights assist interpretation of NN model with respect to the independent effect of individual input variables. A large variance of generalized weights for a covariate indicates non-linearity of its independent effect. If generalized weights of a covariate are approximately zero, the covariate is considered to have no effect on outcome. Finally, prediction of new observations can be performed using compute() function. Make sure that the feature variables passed to the compute() function are in the same order to that in the training NN.

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