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IEEE Trans Neural Netw. 1998;9(2):281-93. doi: 10.1109/72.661123.

Morphological associative memories.

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University of Florida, Center for Computer Vision and Visualization, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


The theory of artificial neural networks has been successfully applied to a wide variety of pattern recognition problems. In this theory, the first step in computing the next state of a neuron or in performing the next layer neural network computation involves the linear operation of multiplying neural values by their synaptic strengths and adding the results. A nonlinear activation function usually follows the linear operation in order to provide for nonlinearity of the network and set the next state of the neuron. In this paper we introduce a novel class of artificial neural networks, called morphological neural networks, in which the operations of multiplication and addition are replaced by addition and maximum (or minimum), respectively. By taking the maximum (or minimum) of sums instead of the sum of products, morphological network computation is nonlinear before possible application of a nonlinear activation function. As a consequence, the properties of morphological neural networks are drastically different than those of traditional neural network models. The main emphasis of the research presented here is on morphological associative memories. We examine the computing and storage capabilities of morphological associative memories and discuss differences between morphological models and traditional semilinear models such as the Hopfield net.


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