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[P] Hierarchical self-organizing maps for unsupervised pattern recognition

From the project on GitHub:

A hierarchical self-organizing map (HSOM) is an unsupervised neural network that learns patterns from high-dimensional space and represents them in lower dimensions.

HSOM networks recieve inputs and feed them into a set of self-organizing maps, each learning individual features of the input space. These maps produce sparse output vectors with only the most responsive nodes activating, a result of competitive inhibition which restricts the number of ‘winners’ (i.e. active nodes) allowed at any given time.

Each layer in an HSOM network contains a set of maps that view part of the input space and generate sparse output vectors, which together form the input for the next layer in the hierarchy. Information becomes increasingly abstract as it is passed through the network and ultimately results in a low-dimensional sparse representation of the original data.

The training process results in a model that maps certain input patterns to certain labels, corresponding to high-dimensional and low-dimensional data respectively. Given that training is unsupervised, the labels have no intrinsic meaning but rather become meaningful through their repeated association with certain input patterns and their relative lack of association with others. Put simply, labels come to represent higher-dimensional patterns over time, allowing them to be distinguished from one another in a meaningful way.

submitted by /u/sterntree
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