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A comparison of gradient ascent, gradient descent and genetic-algorithm-based artificial neural networks for the binary classification problem

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We compare log maximum likelihood gradient ascent, root-mean-square error minimizing gradient descent and genetic-algorithm-based artificial neural network procedures for a binary classification problem. We use simulated data and real-world data sets, and four different performance metrics of correct classification, sensitivity, specificity and reliability for our comparisons. Our experiments indicate that a genetic-algorithm-based artificial neural network that maximizes the total number of correct classifications generally fares well for the binary classification problem. However, if the training data set contains inconsistent decisions or noise then the log maximum likelihood maximizing gradient ascent may be the best classification approach to use. The root-mean-square minimizing gradient descent approach appears to overfit training data and has the lowest reliability among the approaches considered for our research. At the end of the paper, we provide a few guidelines, including computational complexity, for selection of an appropriate technique for a given binary classification problem.
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Keywords: artificial intelligence; decision support systems; genetic algorithms; neural networks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Information Systems, School of Business Administration, Penn State University, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057, USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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