RAW CSV Import: why ignore DATES or CHARACTERS ?

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RAW CSV Import: why ignore DATES or CHARACTERS ?

Post by RuuKoo » Fri 24. Jun 2011, 13:35

New to MemBrain, and I like what I see !

While playing with the Lesson Editor, I saw that ONLY numerics are imported ?! So a date like 08/12/2011 is imported as 08, value 'Oct' is imported as 0. Do I really have to decode all to numerics before I can import raw CSV ? Hope that someone can help ...

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Re: RAW CSV Import: why ignore DATES or CHARACTERS ?

Post by Admin » Fri 24. Jun 2011, 17:47

Hello and welcome!
RuuKoo wrote:Do I really have to decode all to numerics before I can import raw CSV ?
Yes, that's definitely true and the root cause for this is that (artificial) neurons can only process scalar input data in terms of numbers.
What would you expect a date/time information to be converted during import or how should the NN process this information, respectively?

Additionally, date/time information most of the time is not a good type of information to be provided to an NN's inputs anyway, even if converted to a numeric value. This is due to the fact that date/time information by nature always evolves towards higher values and thus does not represent an information that can be used for generalization or for learning association rules: The date/time information by definition always differs from data set to data set.

The only way to incorporate date/time information in a possibly useful way is to convert it to some periodic value that represents a period which might be meaningful for the problem: E.g. a period of a year can be useful information for some problems that might be affected by time of year. In such a situation date/time information may be converted into a sine wave signal in periods of one year. This allows the NN to learn rules that are related to the time of year. Other problems may get along better with a time-of-day periodic signal.

What is your date/time information about in terms of it's effects on the problem you want to teach the NN to solve?

Thomas Jetter

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