Modular representation of layered neural networks.

Neural networks : the official journal of the International Neural Network Society

PubMedID: 29096203

Watanabe C, Hiramatsu K, Kashino K. Modular representation of layered neural networks. Neural Netw. 2017;9762-73.
Layered neural networks have greatly improved the performance of various applications including image processing, speech recognition, natural language processing, and bioinformatics. However, it is still difficult to discover or interpret knowledge from the inference provided by a layered neural network, since its internal representation has many nonlinear and complex parameters embedded in hierarchical layers. Therefore, it becomes important to establish a new methodology by which layered neural networks can be understood. In this paper, we propose a new method for extracting a global and simplified structure from a layered neural network. Based on network analysis, the proposed method detects communities or clusters of units with similar connection patterns. We show its effectiveness by applying it to three use cases. (1) Network decomposition: it can decompose a trained neural network into multiple small independent networks thus dividing the problem and reducing the computation time. (2) Training assessment: the appropriateness of a trained result with a given hyperparameter or randomly chosen initial parameters can be evaluated by using a modularity index. And (3) data analysis: in practical data it reveals the community structure in the input, hidden, and output layers, which serves as a clue for discovering knowledge from a trained neural network.