Hopfield Network

What Does Hopfield Network Mean?

A Hopfield network is a specific type of recurrent artificial neural network based on the research of John Hopfield in the 1980s on associative neural network models. Hopfield networks are associated with the concept of simulating human memory through pattern recognition and storage.


Techopedia Explains Hopfield Network

In order to understand Hopfield networks better, it is important to know about some of the general processes associated with recurrent neural network builds. In general, neurons get complicated inputs that often track back through the system to provide more sophisticated kinds of direction. Some experts talk about the “traveling salesman problem” as a type of hard problem addressed with Hopfield networks – in this particular case, the system is looking at time between destinations and working out high-level solutions by using the artificial neural structures that in some ways simulate human thought.

Experts also use the language of temperature to describe how Hopfield networks boil down complex data inputs into smart solutions, using terms like “thermal equilibrium” and “simulated annealing,” in which spiking or excitatory data inputs simulate some of the processes used in cooling hot metals. The idea is that data heats up or settles down according to the neural inputs and lateral communications between layers, and that forms the basis for a lot of this balancing of stored patterns and new input that allows Hopfield networks to be valuable in fields like image processing, speech processing and fault-tolerant computing.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.