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R Projects For Dummies by Joseph Schmuller

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Chapter 11

Neural Networks

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Neural networks defined

check Why and when to use neural networks

check A neural network for the iris dataset

check The nnet package

check Neural networks in Rattle

Neural networks are a popular form of supervised machine learning. They're popular because they’re widely applied in an array of areas, like speech recognition and image processing. Investors rely on these networks to recognize patterns in the stock market and decide whether to buy or sell. As the name indicates, their design reflects the structure and function of the nervous system.

Networks in the Nervous System

The nervous system consists of cells called neurons. Figure 11-1 shows a neuron on the left connected to three neurons on the right. The neuron on the left receives, through its dendrites, messages from other neurons. This neuron processes what it receives, and the result becomes a signal it sends along its axon. Through connections called synapses (yes, each one is a tiny gap), the signal ...

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