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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;458:1-13.

Artificial neural networks in biology and chemistry: the evolution of a new analytical tool.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, UK.


Once regarded as an eccentric and unpromising algorithm for the analysis of scientific data, the neural network has been developed in the last decade into a powerful computational tool. Its use now spans all areas of science, from the physical sciences and engineering to the life sciences and allied subjects. Applications range from the assessment of epidemiological data or the deconvolution of spectra to highly practical applications, such as the electronic nose. This introductory chapter considers briefly the growth in the use of neural networks and provides some general background in preparation for the more detailed chapters that follow.

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