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Neural Computation

July 2016, Vol. 28, No. 7, Pages 1289-1304
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00849)
© 2016 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A Single Hidden Layer Feedforward Network with Only One Neuron in the Hidden Layer Can Approximate Any Univariate Function
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The possibility of approximating a continuous function on a compact subset of the real line by a feedforward single hidden layer neural network with a sigmoidal activation function has been studied in many papers. Such networks can approximate an arbitrary continuous function provided that an unlimited number of neurons in a hidden layer is permitted. In this note, we consider constructive approximation on any finite interval of by neural networks with only one neuron in the hidden layer. We construct algorithmically a smooth, sigmoidal, almost monotone activation function providing approximation to an arbitrary continuous function within any degree of accuracy. This algorithm is implemented in a computer program, which computes the value of at any reasonable point of the real axis.