Neural network modeling of the level of observation decision in an acute psychiatric ward

W D Penny, D P Frost

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Patients in an acute psychiatric ward need to be observed with varying levels of closeness. We report a series of experiments in which neural networks were trained to model this "level of observation" decision. One hundred eighty-seven such clinical decisions were used to train and test the networks which were evaluated by a multitrial v-fold cross-validation procedure. One neural network modeling approach was to break down the decision process into four subproblems, each of which was solved by a perceptron unit. This resulted in a hierarchical perceptron network having a structure that was equivalent to a sparsely connected two-layer perceptron. Neural network approaches were compared with nearest neighbor, linear regression, and naive Bayes classifiers. The hierarchical and sparse neural networks were the most accurate classifiers. This shows that the decision process is nonlinear, that neural nets can be more accurate than other statistical approaches, and that hierarchical decomposition is a useful methodology for neural network design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Biomedical Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997


  • Acute Disease
  • Algorithms
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Mental Disorders
  • Neural Networks (Computer)
  • Psychiatry
  • Comparative Study

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