A soft methodology study has been applied on tapered plastic multimode sensors. This study basically used tapered plastic multimode fiber [polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)] optics as a sensor. The tapered PMMA fiber was fabricated using an etching method involving deionized water and acetone to achieve a waist diameter and length of 0.45 and 10 mm, respectively. In addition, a tapered PMMA probe, which was coated by silver film, was fabricated and demonstrated using a calcium hypochlorite (G70) solution. The working mechanism of such a device is based on the observation increment in the transmission of the sensor that is immersed in solutions at high concentrations. As the concentration was varied from 0 to 6 ppm, the output voltage of the sensor increased linearly. The silver film coating increased the sensitivity of the proposed sensor because of the effective cladding refractive index, which increases with the coating and thus allows more light to be transmitted from the tapered fiber. In this study, the polynomial and radial basis function (RBF) were applied as the kernel function of the support vector regression (SVR) to estimate and predict the output voltage response of the sensors with and without silver film according to experimental tests. Instead of minimizing the observed training error, SVR_poly and SVR_rbf were used in an attempt to minimize the generalization error bound so as to achieve generalized performance. An adaptive neuro-fuzzy interference system (ANFIS) approach was also investigated for comparison. The experimental results showed that improvements in the predictive accuracy and capacity for generalization can be achieved by the SVR_poly approach in comparison to the SVR_rbf methodology. The same testing errors were found for the SVR_poly approach and the ANFIS approach.
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