TensorFlow: An Easy Method for Building an MLP

Constructing a neural network requires a considerable amount of time and technical knowledge. However, utilising frameworks can assist in streamlining the workflow. This article delves into the intricacies of neural networks, exploring Multi-Layer Perceptrons (MLPs) and detailing the steps of creating an MLP in TensorFlow, utilising Google Colaboratory (Colab). Here, we will consider how frameworks can be employed to simplify and expedite the development process of machine learning applications.

What precisely does the term ‘multilayer perceptron’ refer to?

Deep learning employs the Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) as the most intricate neural network design. These computational models serve as the backbone of neural networks and aim to emulate the human brain’s ability to recognise patterns. While MLPs are fundamental to neural networks, their primary usage is to showcase the efficiency of machine learning.

Frank Rosenbluth first introduced the concept of a Machine Learning (ML) model in 1958, which he named the Single-Layer Perceptron (SLP). An SLP is the fundamental element of a neural network, designed to disseminate knowledge. Though it possesses a relatively simple architecture, this type of network can only detect linear patterns when functioning autonomously. Despite its perceived simplicity, an SLP comprises countless minute components, analogous to the structure of an atom.

An MLP (Multilayer Perceptron) is a form of Neural Network comprising of numerous Single-Layer Perceptrons (SLPs) that are interlinked. The complexity of an MLP is uncertain and depends on the number of SLPs that are connected to it, influencing its capacity to explore the correlations between the layers.

What methods do perceptrons employ to perform their functions?

By conferring a computational task to a machine, you essentially create a perceptron. Each input is weighted based on its respective significance, which ultimately influences the machine’s response by synthesising all inputs.

This paper examines the behaviour of the perceptron while considering all inputs and procedures implemented in its learning model. Ultimately, the behaviour of the perceptron is established.

The four primary constituents of a perceptron are the input layer or input value, the weight, the net summation, and the activation function.

Input quantity

On one end of the network, information is supplied to the input layer, which then relays it to the perceptron for analysis. An individual’s perception is responsible for determining both the input value and weight involved in the process.


Each input is assigned a weight, which communicates to the perceptron the level of influence each input holds in relation to the whole.

Differential elimination

In most instances, a typical perceptron receives several inputs. These inputs are multiplied by their respective weights, and the outcome is combined with the bias. This sum serves as the initial value in the function that executes the assigned task.

Performing activation

During this phase of the perceptron process, an assessment is made to determine whether the neuron should be activated. The overall value of the summation is analysed to determine the neuron’s output.

Implementation of Multi-Layer Perceptron Algorithm

Outlined below are the steps required to operationalize a multi-layer perceptron model.

To initiate the process, launch your Google Colab notebook.

Select a blank notebook and assign it a title.

The subsequent step necessitates the integration of pre-existing code bases and elements.

By carrying out the subsequent directives, you can import the required library into your Google Colab workspace.

Step 3: Select and save a dataset

In this demo, we shall work with the MNIST dataset, which is integrated into TensorFlow, making it easy to use for both training and testing.

The fourth step involves converting images to floating-point values.

For accurate predictions, converting pixel values to floating-point numbers is crucial. Using grayscale values to reduce the size and simplify calculations can prove beneficial. Pixel values vary from 0 to 256, with anything except 0 being 255. By dividing all values by 255, we get a range from 0 to 1.

The training dataset contains 60,000 records, while the testing dataset has 10,000 records. Furthermore, each image in the dataset has a resolution of 28×28.

The fifth step involves comprehending the numbers through visualization.

The sixth step entails creating the input, hidden, and output layers.

While designing the layers, bear in mind the following considerations.

  • Building models in a multilayer perceptron with a sequential approach enables layer-by-layer construction, tailored to our requirements. However, this method is restricted to layer stacks that have only one input and output.
  • The “Flatten” operation enables input flattening without altering the batch size. In the absence of a feature axis, the output after flattening will have a shape of (batch size, 1).
  • In the activation process, the sigmoid activation function is utilized.
  • The first two dense layers are kept hidden to create a fully connected model.
  • The final dense layer, known as the “output” layer, has 10 neurons that classify the image.

Step 7 involves model compilation.

To accomplish this, we use the compile command, which entails employing a loss function, optimizer, and metrics. More specifically, the adam optimizer is combined with the sparse categorical cross-entropy loss function.

Step 8 involves model fitting.

Consider these points as you proceed:

  • The model’s forward and backward iteration is determined by the number of epochs.
  • The batch size is the total number of samples included in a batch, with a default value of 32.
  • The split value, ranging from 0 to 1, denotes the fraction of training data to be set aside after each epoch to assess the model’s loss and metrics. This data is not utilized for training the model.

Step 9 involves evaluating the Model’s Accuracy.

Using the test data samples, we calculated the model’s accuracy at 92 percent.

In this guide, we have learned how multilayer perceptrons operate and the steps involved in creating one. If you are an ML professional or developer seeking to learn how to use TensorFlow for MLP, this article serves as an excellent starting point. As perceptrons and TensorFlow have significant importance in ML projects, this resource is highly beneficial.

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