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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2016, Article ID 2842780, 11 pages
Research Article

Parallelizing Backpropagation Neural Network Using MapReduce and Cascading Model

School of Electrical Engineering and Information, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China

Received 22 November 2015; Revised 16 January 2016; Accepted 19 January 2016

Academic Editor: Jose de Jesus Rubio

Copyright © 2016 Yang Liu 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.


Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is a widely used algorithm in pattern recognition, classification, and prediction fields. Among a number of neural networks, backpropagation neural network (BPNN) has become the most famous one due to its remarkable function approximation ability. However, a standard BPNN frequently employs a large number of sum and sigmoid calculations, which may result in low efficiency in dealing with large volume of data. Therefore to parallelize BPNN using distributed computing technologies is an effective way to improve the algorithm performance in terms of efficiency. However, traditional parallelization may lead to accuracy loss. Although several complements have been done, it is still difficult to find out a compromise between efficiency and precision. This paper presents a parallelized BPNN based on MapReduce computing model which supplies advanced features including fault tolerance, data replication, and load balancing. And also to improve the algorithm performance in terms of precision, this paper creates a cascading model based classification approach, which helps to refine the classification results. The experimental results indicate that the presented parallelized BPNN is able to offer high efficiency whilst maintaining excellent precision in enabling large-scale machine learning.