Improving convolutional neural network based on hyperparameter optimization using variable length genetic algorithm for english digit handwritten recognition

(1) * Muhammad Munsarif Mail (Dian Nuswantoro University, Semarang, Indonesia)
(2) Edi Noersasongko Mail (Dian Nuswantoro University, Semarang, Indonesia)
(3) Pulung Nurtantio Andono Mail (Dian Nuswantoro University, Semarang, Indonesia)
(4) Mochammad Arief Soeleman Mail (Dian Nuswantoro University Semarang, Indonesia)
*corresponding author


Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) perform well compared to other deep learning models in image recognition, especially in handwritten alphabetic numeral datasets. CNN's challenging task is to find an architecture with the right hyperparameters. Usually, this activity is done by trial and error. A genetic algorithm (GA) has been widely used for automatic hyperparameter optimization. However, the original GA with fixed chromosome length allows for suboptimal solution results because CNN has a variable number of hyperparameters depending on the depth of the model. Previous work proposed variable chromosome lengths to overcome the drawbacks of native GA. This paper proposes a variable length GA by adding global hyperparameters, namely optimizer and learning speed, to systematically and automatically tune CNN hyperparameters to improve performance. We optimize seven hyperparameters, such as the learning rate. Optimizer, kernel, filter, activation function, number of layers and pooling. The experimental results show that a population of 25 produces the best fitness value and average fitness. In addition, the comparison results show that the proposed model is superior to the basic model based on accuracy. The experimental results show that the proposed model is about 99.18% higher than the baseline model.


Genetic Algorithms, Hyperparameter Optimization, Convolutional Neural Networks, Handwritten Digit Recognition



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