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Neural Netw. 2006 Jul-Aug;19(6-7):830-7. Epub 2006 Jun 19.

Self-organizing map algorithm and distortion measure.

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  • 1SAMOS/MATISSE, Universit√© de Paris-I, 90, rue de Tolbiac, 75013 Paris, France.


We study the statistical meaning of the minimization of distortion measure and the relation between the equilibrium points of the SOM algorithm and the minima of the distortion measure. If we assume that the observations and the map lie in a compact Euclidean space, we prove the strong consistency of the map which almost minimizes the empirical distortion. Moreover, after calculating the derivatives of the theoretical distortion measure, we show that the points minimizing this measure and the equilibria of the Kohonen map do not match in general. We illustrate, with a simple example, how this occurs.

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