Abstract

An adaptive, optical, radial basis function classifier for handwritten digit recognition is experimentally demonstrated. We describe a spatially multiplexed system that incorporates an on-line adaptation of weights and basis function widths to provide robustness to optical system imperfections and system noise. The optical system computes the Euclidean distances between a 100-dimensional input vector and 198 stored reference patterns in parallel by using dual vector–matrix multipliers and a contrast-reversing spatial light modulator. Software is used to emulate an electronic chip that performs the on-line learning of the weights and basis function widths. An experimental recognition rate of 92.7% correct out of 300 testing samples is achieved with the adaptive training, versus 31.0% correct for nonadaptive training. We compare the experimental results with a detailed computer model of the system in order to analyze the influence of various noise sources on the system performance.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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