Neural networks have become one of the most powerful architectures for computer learning. They are called neural networks because they simulate how neurons work in our brains!

In this article, we’ll be talking about something that is becoming increasingly popular- deep (multi-layered) convolutional neural networks (ConvNets). These ConvNets contain multiple layers designed to learn more complex patterns or features of data.

They achieve this by using backpropagation, which adjusts the weights of each layer based on how well it performs its task. The better it does, the smaller the error at the output, thus changing the weight size appropriately.

This process can repeat itself many times as information moves up the network from lower levels to higher ones. An easy way to think about it is like someone trying to understand a language with no context. As you add new words, your brain automatically figures out what those words mean due to exposure before.

That’s kind of how the individual layers of a CNN work. Only once all the layers know what “eye” means, what “mouth” means, and so forth, do they combine them into understanding what things like eyesablenoseprintmean.

CNNs are really good at figuring out such concepts because every layer has its own unique focus but still must integrate their knowledge of the previous layers to complete that process.

History of deep learning

deep learning how many hidden layers

Over the past few years, neural networks have become increasingly popular as an effective tool for solving complex problems. Neural networks are inspired by how neurons in our brains work.

The key difference is that instead of having one central neuron that receives input from other neurons and processes that information, there are many parallel neurons which process their inputs independently before they are combined into a single output.

This structure was first proposed in 1943 when scientists hypothesised that this pattern applied to the way animals think. Since then, it has been used to describe everything form speech to vision to motor control.

However, it wasn’t until 2010 when Andrei Iutov took things a step further and built what would later be referred to as a “deep network” or a “deep neural net” – a three layer feed-forward NN with 200 hidden nodes in each layer.

These days, you will almost always see at least two layers of nonlinear transformations connected together in some way. This method is known as convolutional neural networks (ConvNet) because of the way the filters apply different functions to the data.

Since these networks can learn very complicated features, they have seen widespread use across computer vision applications such as object recognition and image captioning.

What makes them so powerful is that if part of the picture looks like a dog, the system can combine all those learned concepts into identifying it as a dog.

What is a hidden layer?

deep learning how many hidden layers

A typical neural network has an input layer, one or more output layers, and one or more internal (hidden) layers in between. The number of internal layers you have depends on how many different patterns your net learns.

The deeper the net gets, the better it performs but this also means it takes longer to train! That’s why most people choose two-three internal layers at the very least when starting off with deep learning.

By adding additional internal layers, your net can learn more complex relationships. But beware! Too many may slow down training time unnecessarily and even cause overfitting!

That said, there are some cases where having lots of internal layers helps ensure good performance. For example, if your data set contains lots of distinct groups of examples, then having multiple internal layers allows each group to be learned separately while still using all the information.

What are the different types of layers in a neural network?

Layer type is an important part of defining how a neural networks functions. There are three main layer types that most experts agree upon when it comes to creating images via computer vision or natural language processing (NLP).

They are input, convolutional, and fully-connected layers.

Input layers receive external information and are not connected laterally like convolutions or vertically like fully-connected layers. Input layers typically have random values initialized for them.

Convolutional layers perform feature extraction by looking at small segments of the image or sentence and changing their value based on what they see. For example, they may look at one area of the picture and determine if there are cars in the car dealership nearby.

Fully-connected layers connect every node to every other node directly just like regular old layers you’ve probably done before. They take the output from the previous layer and expand on it so that more complex patterns can be learned.

You will almost always have at least one input layer, one convolutional layer, and one fully-connected layer as your base architecture. Beyond those, you can add dropout layers, batch normalization layers, and pooling layers depending on what kind of task you want to train the model on.

Drift away from these basics and you could end up with poor results.

How many hidden layers should there be?

deep learning how many hidden layers

Depending on your data set, how many internal layers you have in your neural network can make a big difference in accuracy and loss. If your dataset is very large-scale, then having more internal layers can help prevent overfitting by using more information.

If your dataset gets smaller as you apply additional internal layers, then you will lose out on that fine level of detail that was removed!

So, how do you know if your model has enough internal layers? There are two main ways to determine this. The first is through experimentation and testing different models with similar results. The second is via validation metrics, where you test your model’s performance against those same metrics at every epoch during training.

Testing for convergence typically requires a lot of resources so it is best done after a few rounds of experimental testing. Sometimes, people also use the final trained model’s accuracy as a way to assess whether or not the model had converged. However, these strategies only work if the tested model is identical to what we want our final model to look like.

This article will go into much greater depth about both of these concepts, but to give you an idea of how powerful layer size can be, let us look at some examples!

At the end of this article, you will learn three different example models whose accuracies increase as they add internal layers. All three of these models have one common element — they all converge quickly and achieve good results when tested.

How do I choose the number of neurons in each hidden layer?

deep learning how many hidden layers

When it comes to choosing your network architecture, one of the most important decisions is how many layers you have in your model. This is referred to as the deep learning structure or neural network configuration.

The deeper the net, the more complex the patterns that the network learns, however this becomes increasingly difficult to train as the networks get bigger. On the other hand, smaller nets may not be able to find all of the pattern relationships needed to be learned.

Many software packages will automatically pick an optimal network for you by experimenting with different configurations. These automated tools usually try out different numbers of neurons (the workhorses behind artificial intelligence) in each layer and determine the best overall performance using some sort of mathematical scoring system.

How many training cycles should there be?

deep learning how many hidden layers

After you have trained your model for enough iterations, you can test it to see how well it performs. You may use different metrics to determine this. For instance, you could measure accuracy or precision-recall curves (where you calculate both values) to determine which is better. If accuracy is the most important value, you can choose any cutoff point to evaluate the performance of your model.

However, depending on what you are trying to achieve with your models, other measures such as calibration-based evaluation might be more appropriate. Calibration refers to whether your model over-or underpredicts certain outcomes (it has poor internal consistency). In these cases, you need to find an optimal balance between accuracy and calibration by testing various configurations of your model!

Google’s paper suggests performing at least 100–1000 epochs per layer, but you will probably want to start much lower than that and increase the number slowly until you find a good level. You do not necessarily need to perform every possible variation of layers, numbers of hidden units in each, etc.

What are the different training methods for neural networks?

deep learning how many hidden layers

One of the key components in creating powerful deep learning models is how you train your network. There are three main types of training used for neural networks: batch, stochastic, and iterative.

Training with a batch method means that there is only one set of data being fed into the network at a time. This is the most common type of training used when beginning to learn about neural networks.

Stochastic training works in a similar way as batch training but instead of having just one piece of data, many pieces are passed through the network simultaneously. The difference comes down to the number of layers in the model; usually very large numbers of layers use batch training while smaller ones use stochatic training.

Iterative training goes beyond simply feeding in more data or using parallelized training. Rather than have just one layer be trained, all layers are tuned together!

This article will talk about the differences between each of these training strategies and which one is best depending on what you want to achieve from your model.

What are the different loss functions for neural networks?

deep learning how many hidden layers

The most common way to train neural networks is using an error function that decreases as the network gets better at predicting given inputs and learning new information.

This error function is typically some kind of cost, which becomes smaller the fewer mistakes the model makes when trying to predict its outputs.

The two major types of costs in deep learning are the cross-entropy (or binary) loss and the mean square error (MSE) loss.

Cross entropy or binary losses try to maximize the probability of each output by minimizing how much it differs from one class over all classes.

For example, if your net predicted “cat” with 90% confidence, then it would want to be sure that it only assigned low probabilities to things that were actually cats rather than dogs or penguins.

Mean squared errors (MSEs) work similarly to cross entropies, but instead of just looking at whether predictions match true values, they also weigh prediction differences according to their accuracy.

The lower the MSE, the more accurate the predictions!

Both these loss functions can be minimized via stochastic gradient descent (SGD), where you take small steps along the direction of steepest decrease of the loss function.

You can read more about SGDs here and here.

Caroline Shaw is a blogger and social media manager. She enjoys blogging about current events, lifehacks, and her experiences as a millennial working in New York.