CATSMLP: Toward a robust and interpretable multilayer perceptron with sigmoid activation functions

Fu Lai Korris Chung, Shitong Wang, Zhaohong Deng, Dewen Hu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Enhancing the robustness and interpretability of a multilayer perceptron (MLP) with a sigmoid activation function is a challenging topic. As a particular MLP, additive TS-type, MLP (ATSMLP) can be interpreted based on single-stage fuzzy IF-THEN rules, but its robustness will be degraded with the increase in the number of intermediate layers. This paper presents a new MLP model called cascaded ATSMLP (CATSMLP), where the ATSMLPs are organized in a cascaded way. The proposed CATSMLP is a universal approximator and is also proven to be functionally equivalent to a fuzzy inference system based on syllogistic fuzzy reasoning. Therefore, the CATSMLP may be interpreted based on syllogistic fuzzy reasoning in a theoretical sense. Meanwhile, due to the fact that syllogistic fuzzy reasoning has distinctive advantage over single-stage IF-THEN fuzzy reasoning in robustness, this paper proves in an indirect way that the CATSMLP is more robust than the ATSMLP in an upper-bound sense. Several experiments were conducted to confirm such a claim.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1331
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Cascaded multilayer perceptron (MLP)
  • Fuzzy systems
  • Robustness analysis
  • Syllogistic fuzzy inference
  • Universal approximation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Medicine(all)
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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