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Developing Neural Networks using Visual Studio. James McCaffrey Microsoft Research 2-401. Agenda. Slide 1: What types of problems does a neural network solve? Slide 2: What exactly is a neural network? Slide 3: How does a neural network actually work?

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## Developing Neural Networks using Visual Studio

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**Developing Neural Networks using Visual Studio**James McCaffrey Microsoft Research 2-401**Agenda**• Slide 1: What types of problems does a neural network solve? • Slide 2: What exactly is a neural network? • Slide 3: How does a neural network actually work? • Slide 4: Understanding activation functions. • Slide 5: Alternatives to neural networks. • Slide 6: Understanding neural network training. • Slide 7: Neural network over-fitting. • Slide 8: Developing with Visual Studio. • Slide 9: Summary and resources.**What type of problems does a neural network solve?**Training data Independent variables/predictors/attributes/regressors/x-values “The thing to classify (predict)”/ dependent variable/y**What is a neural network?**Age 38 3.8 input hidden output Income 51,000 5.1 0.43 Politics Sex M -1.0 0.20 Dem 0.0 0.37 Religion Pres 1.0 0.0**The perceptron building block**0.10 W0 = 4.0 b = 2.0 a. (0.1)(4.0) + (0.2)(-5.0) + (0.3)(6.0) = 1.2 b. 1.2 + 2.0 = 3.2 c. Activation(3.2) = 0.73 d. ?? = 0.73 0.20 ?? W1 = -5.0 Technical note: most neural network literature treats the bias as a weight that has a dummy input which is always a 1.0 value. 0.30 W2 = 6.0**Four most common activation functions**• Logistic sigmoid • Output between [0, 1] • y = 1.0 / (1.0 + e–x) • Hyperbolic tangent • Output between [-1, +1] • y = tanh(x) = (ex – e-x) / (ex + e-x) • Heaviside step • Output either 0 or 1 • if (x < 0) then y = 0 else if (x >= 0) then y = 1 • Softmax • Outputs between [0, 1] and sum to 1.0 • y = (e-xi) / Σ (e-xj)**Alternatives to neural networks**• The six main alternatives to using a neural network • 1. Linear regression: assumes data can be modeled as y = ax1 + bx2 + . . + k • 2. Logistic regression: assumes data can be modeled as y = 1.0 / ( 1.0 + e-(ax1 + bx2 + . . + k) ) • 3. Naive Bayes: assumes input data are all independent, output is binary. • 4. Decision trees: do not work well for complex data, assumes binary output. • 5. Adaptive boosting: relatively new and effectiveness not well understood, assumes binary output. • 6. Support vector machines: extremely complex implementation, assumes binary output.**Alternatives to neural networks**• Neural networks pros and cons • Pro: can model any underlying math equation! • Pro: can handle multinomial output without resorting to tricks. • Con: moderate complexity, requires lots of training data. • Con: must pick number hidden nodes, activation functions, input/output encoding, error definition. • Con: must pick training method, training “free parameters,” (and over-fitting defense strategy).**Training**• Back-propagation • Fastest technique. • Does not work with Heaviside activation. • Requires “learning rate” and “momentum.” • Genetic algorithm • Slowest technique. • Generally most effective. • Requires “population size,” “mutation rate,” “max generations,” “selection probability.” • Particle swarm optimization • Good compromise. • Requires “number particles,” “max iterations,” “cognitive weight,” “social weight.”**Avoiding model over-fitting**• What is it? • Symptom: Model is great on predicting existing data, but fails miserably on new data. • Roulette example: red, red, black, red, red, black, red, red, black, red, red, ?? • A serious problem for all classification/prediction techniques, not just neural networks. • Five most common techniques • Use lots of training data. • Train-Validate-Test (early stop when error on validate set begins to increase). • K-fold cross validation. • Repeated sub-sampling validation. • Jittering: deliberately adding noise data to make over-fitting impossible. • Quite a few exotic techniques also available (weight penalties, Bayesian learning, etc.).**Summary**• Existing neural network tools are difficult or impossible to integrate into a software system. • Commercial and Open Source API libraries work well for some machine learning tasks but are extremely limited for neural networks. • To develop neural networks using Visual Studio you must understand seven core concepts: feed-forward, activation, data encoding, error, training, free parameters, and over-fitting. • Once the concepts are mastered, implementation with Visual Studio is not difficult (but not easy either).**Resources**• Concepts: • ftp://ftp.sas.com/pub/neural/FAQ.html#questions • Weka: • http://www.cs.waikato.ac.nz/ml/weka/ • Custom C#: • http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/jj190808.aspx Special enhanced demo code for Build 2013 attendees: http://www.quaetrix.com/Build2013.html**Thank You!**Session 2-401 • Developing neural networks using Visual Studio. • 2013 Build Conference • June 25–28, 2013 • San Francisco, CA • Dr. James McCaffrey • Microsoft Research • jammc@microsoft.com**Acer Iconia W3, Surface Pro, and Surface Type Cover**Get your goodies Device distribution starts after sessions conclude today (approximately 6:00pm) in the Big Room, Hall D. If you choose not to pick up your devices tonight, distribution will continue for the duration of the conference at Registration in the North Lobby.**Required Slide***delete this box when your slide is finalized Your MS Tag will be inserted here during the final scrub. Evaluate this session • Scan this QR codeto evaluate this session and be automatically entered in a drawing to win a prize!

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