The Helmholtz machine is a type of artificial neural network that can account for the hidden structure of a set of data by being trained to create a generative model of the original set of data. The hope is that by learning economical representations of the data, the underlying structure of the generative model should reasonably approximate the hidden structure of the data set. A Helmholtz machine contains two networks, a bottom-up recognition network that takes the data as input and produces a distribution over hidden variables, and a top-down "generative" network that generates values of the hidden variables and the data itself.
Helmholtz machines may also be used in applications requiring a supervised learning algorithm (e.g. character recognition, or position-invariant recognition of an object within a field).
- Hinton, Geoffrey E.; Dayan, Peter; Frey, Brendan J.; Neal, Radford (1995-05-26). "The wake-sleep algorithm for unsupervised neural networks". Science. 268 (5214): 1158–1161. doi:10.1126/science.7761831.
- http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/~hinton/helmholtz.html — Hinton's papers on Helmholtz machines
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