The self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm for finite data is derived as an approximate maximum a posteriori estimation algorithm for a gaussian mixture model with a gaussian smoothing prior, which is equivalent to a generalized deformable model (GDM). For this model, objective criteria for selecting hyperparameters are obtained on the basis of empirical Bayesian estimation and cross-validation, which are representative model selection methods. The properties of these criteria are compared by simulation experiments. These experiments show that the cross-validation methods favor more complex structures than the expected log likelihood supports, which is a measure of compatibility between a model and data distribution. On the other hand, the empirical Bayesian methods have the opposite bias.