This paper explores the feasibility of combining both growing and pruning algorithms in some way that the global approach results in finding a smaller multilayer perceptron (MLP) in terms of network size, which enhances the speech/music/noise classification performance in digital hearing aids, with the added bonus of demanding a lower number of hidden neurons, and consequently, lower computational cost. With this in mind, the paper will focus on the design of an approach that starts adding neurons to an initial small MLP until the stopping criteria for the growing stage is reached. Then, the MLP size is reduced by successively pruning the least significant hidden neurons while maintaining a continuous decreasing function. The results obtained with the proposed approach will be compared with those obtained when using both growing and pruning algorithms separately.
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