Research Interests of Dr. Iren Valova

Brain modeling with emphasis on olfactory bulb

Where many people often consider the human nose something of a luxury, for the rest of the animal world detecting chemicals in the environment has been critical to the successful organism. An indication of the importance of olfactory systems is the significant proportion - as much as 4% - of the genomes of many higher eukaryotes that is devoted to encoding the proteins of smell. This, the age of the olfaction, and the fact that the olfactory system is so close to the brain cortex makes understanding the dynamics within the olfactory system so interesting for researchers and might also help to understand how other parts of the brain work.

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Self-organizing feature maps

Self-Organizing maps (SOM) have become quite popular for tasks in data visualization, pattern classification or natural language processing and can be seen as one of the major concepts for artificial neural networks of today. Their general idea is it to approximate a high dimensional - previously unknown - input distribution by a lower dimensional neural network structure with the goal to model the topology of the input space as good as possible. We are proposing a methodology so that networks can be developed that don't reorganize their structure from scratch every time a new set of input vectors is presented but rather adjust their internal architecture in accordance with previous mappings.

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