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Pruning artificial neural networks: an example using land cover classification of multi-sensor images

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The use of three techniques for pruning artificial neural networks (magnitude-based pruning, optimum brain damage and optimal brain surgeon) is investigated, using microwave SAR and optical SPOT data to classify land cover in a test area located in eastern England. Results show that it is possible to reduce network size significantly without compromising overall classification accuracy; indeed, accuracy may rise as the number of links decreases. However, individual class accuracies and the spatial distribution of the pixels forming the individual classes may change significantly. If the network is pruned too severely some classes may be eliminated altogether. In terms of maintaining overall classification accuracy the optimal brain surgeon algorithm gave the best results, and magnitude-based pruning also gave good results despite its simplicity. The optimum brain damage algorithm performed least well of the three methods tested.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 20, 1999

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