Information Fusion and Hierarchical Knowledge Discovery by ARTMAP Neural Networks
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Mapping novel terrain from sparse, complex data often requires the resolution of conflicting information from sensors working at different times, locations, and scales, and from experts with different goals and situations. Information fusion methods help resolve inconsistencies in order to distinguish correct from incorrect answers, as when evidence variously suggests that an object's class is car, truck, or airplane. The methods developed here consider a complementary problem, supposing that information from sensors and experts is reliable though inconsistent, as when evidence suggests that an objects class is car, vehicle, or man-made. Underlying relationships among objects are assumed to be unknown to the automated system of the human user. The ARTMAP information fusion system uses distributed code representations that exploit the neural network's capacity for one-to-many learning in order to produce self-organizing expert systems that discover hierarchial knowledge structures. The system infers multi-level relationships among groups of output classes, without any supervised labeling of these relationships. The procedure is illustrated with two image examples.