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Using Neural Network Toolbox

There are four ways you can use the Neural Network Toolbox™ software.

The first way is through its graphical user interfaces (GUIs). You can open these GUIs from a master GUI opened by the command nnstart. These GUIs provide a convenient way to access the capabilities of the toolbox for the following tasks:

  • Function fitting

  • Pattern recognition

  • Data clustering

  • Time series analysis

The second way to use the toolbox is through basic command-line operations. The command-line operations offer more flexibility than the GUIs, but with some added complexity. If this is your first experience with the toolbox, the GUIs provide the best introduction. In addition, the GUIs can generate scripts of documented MATLAB® code to provide you with templates for creating your own customized command-line functions. The process of using the GUIs first, and then generating and modifying MATLAB scripts, is an excellent way to learn about the functionality of the toolbox.

The third way to use the toolbox is through customization. This advanced capability allows you to create your own custom neural networks, while still having access to the full functionality of the toolbox. You can create networks with arbitrary connections, and you will still be able to train them using existing toolbox training functions (as long as the network components are differentiable).

The fourth way to use the toolbox is through the ability to modify any of the functions contained in the toolbox. Every computational component is written in MATLAB code and is fully accessible.

These four levels of toolbox usage span the novice to the expert - simple wizards guide the new user through specific applications, and network customization allows researchers to try novel architectures with minimal effort. Whatever your level of neural network and MATLAB knowledge, there are toolbox features to suit your needs.

Automatic Script Generation

The GUIs described in this topic form an important part of the documentation for the Neural Network Toolbox software. The GUIs guide you through the process of designing neural networks to solve problems in four important application areas, without requiring any background in neural networks or sophistication in using MATLAB. In addition, the GUIs can automatically generate both simple and advanced MATLAB scripts that can reproduce the steps performed by the GUI, but with the option to override default settings. These scripts can provide you with a template for creating customized code, and they can aid you in becoming familiar with the command-line functionality of the toolbox. It is highly recommended that you use the automatic script generation facility of the GUIs.

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