Standard Article

Neural Network

Statistical and Numerical Computing

  1. David J. Hand

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.van012

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Hand, D. J. 2006. Neural Network. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 4.

Author Information

  1. Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Feed-forward neural networks are highly parameterized nonlinear models for function estimation. They had their origins in the 1960s, as the electronic revolution led to widely available computers. They originated in work on models of the brain (hence the name) but before long their potential for adaptive learning and updating was driving the research. Nowadays by far the greater part of both research and application is concerned with their potential as mathematical and computational tools for prediction, regardless of how well they model the ways in which biological brains may perform similar tasks.