Training of an artificial neural network (ANN) adjusts the internal weights of the network in order to minimize a predefined error measure. This error measure is given by an error function. Several different error functions are suggested in the literature. However, the far most common measure for regression is the mean square error. This paper looks into the possibility of improving the performance of neural networks by selecting or defining error functions that are tailor-made for a specific objective. A neural network trained to simulate tension forces in an anchor chain on a floating offshore platform is designed and tested. The purpose of setting up the network is to reduce calculation time in a fatigue life analysis. Therefore, the networks trained on different error functions are compared with respect to accuracy of rain flow counts of stress cycles over a number of time series simulations. It is shown that adjusting the error function to perform significantly better on a specific problem is possible. On the other hand. it is also shown that weighted error functions actually can impair the performance of an ANN.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © 2014 Niels H. Christiansen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.