A self-organizing map (SOM) or self-organizing feature map (SOFM) is a type of artificial neural network (ANN) that is trained using unsupervised learning to produce a low-dimensional (typically two-dimensional), discretized representation of the input space of the training samples, called a map, and is therefore a method to do dimensionality reduction. Self-organizing maps differ from other artificial neural networks as they apply competitive learning as opposed to error-correction learning (such as backpropagation with gradient descent), and in the sense that they use a neighborhood function to preserve the topological properties of the input space. This makes SOMs useful for visualization by creating low-dimensional views of high-dimensional data, akin to multidimensional scaling. The artificial neural network introduced by the Finnish professor Teuvo Kohonen in the 1980s is sometimes called a Kohonen map or network. The Kohonen net is a computationally convenient abstraction building on biological models of neural systems from the 1970s and morphogenesis models dating back to Alan Turing in the 1950s.
Pages in category "Kohonen Maps"
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