We first present a brief survey of hardness results for training feed forward neural networks. These results are then completed by the proof that the simplest architecture containing only a single neuron that applies a sigmoidal activation function σ:K→ [α, β], satisfying certain natural axioms (e.g., the standard (logistic) sigmoid or saturated-linear function), to the weighted sum of n inputs is hard to train. In particular, the problem of finding the weights of such a unit that minimize the quadratic training error within (β—α)2 or its average (over a training set) within—5(β—α)2 /(12n) of its infimum proves to be NP-hard. Hence, the well-known backpropagation learning algorithm appears not to be efficient even for one neuron, which has negative consequences in constructive learning.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.