Fast Pruning Using Principal Components

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 6 (NIPS 1993)

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Asriel Levin, Todd Leen, John Moody


We present a new algorithm for eliminating excess parameters and improving network generalization after supervised training. The method, "Principal Components Pruning (PCP)", is based on prin(cid:173) cipal component analysis of the node activations of successive layers of the network. It is simple, cheap to implement, and effective. It requires no network retraining, and does not involve calculating the full Hessian of the cost function. Only the weight and the node activity correlation matrices for each layer of nodes are required. We demonstrate the efficacy of the method on a regression problem using polynomial basis functions, and on an economic time series prediction problem using a two-layer, feedforward network.