288 pp. per issue
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Neural Computation

May 15, 1996, Vol. 8, No. 4, Pages 869-893
(doi: 10.1162/neco.1996.8.4.869)
© 1996 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Multiversion Neural-Net Systems
Article PDF (1.21 MB)

In this paper we address the problem of constructing reliable neural-net implementations, given the assumption that any particular implementation will not be totally correct. The approach taken in this paper is to organize the inevitable errors so as to minimize their impact in the context of a multiversion system, i.e., the system functionality is reproduced in multiple versions, which together will constitute the neural-net system. The unique characteristics of neural computing are exploited in order to engineer reliable systems in the form of diverse, multiversion systems that are used together with a "decision strategy" (such as majority vote). Theoretical notions of "methodological diversity" contributing to the improvement of system performance are implemented and tested. An important aspect of the engineering of an optimal system is to overproduce the components and then choose an optimal subset. Three general techniques for choosing final system components are implemented and evaluated. Several different approaches to the effective engineering of complex multiversion systems designs are realized and evaluated to determine overall reliability as well as reliability of the overall system in comparison to the lesser reliability of component substructures.