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What Is Sigmoid Function

The sigmoid function, often represented by the symbol Sigma, is a mathematical function that maps any real-valued number into a value between 0 and 1. It's commonly used as an activation function in neural networks, particularly in binary classification problems.

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Published onDecember 12, 2023
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What Is Sigmoid Function

The sigmoid function, often represented by the symbol $\sigma$, is a mathematical function that maps any real-valued number into a value between 0 and 1. It's commonly used as an activation function in neural networks, particularly in binary classification problems.

Sigmoid Function Definition

The sigmoid function is defined as:

$$\sigma(x) = \frac{1}{1 + e^{-x}}$$

Where:

  • $\sigma(x)$ is the output of the sigmoid function.
  • $x$ is the input to the function.
  • $e$ is Euler's number, approximately equal to 2.71828.

Key Characteristics of the Sigmoid Function

Sigmoid Function

  1. S-shaped Curve: The graph of the sigmoid function forms an S-shaped curve, transitioning smoothly from 0 to 1.

  2. Output Range: The output of the sigmoid function is always between 0 and 1. This makes it particularly useful for problems where the output is interpreted as a probability, like in binary classification (e.g., determining if an email is spam or not spam).

  3. Non-linear: The sigmoid function is non-linear, which is a crucial property for neural networks. This non-linearity allows the network to learn complex patterns.

  4. Differentiable: The sigmoid function is differentiable, meaning it has a well-defined derivative. This property is essential for training neural networks using backpropagation, where derivatives are used to update the weights.

Derivative of the Sigmoid Function

Derivative Sigmoid Function

The derivative of the sigmoid function, which is important in the context of neural network training, is given by:

$$\sigma'(x) = \sigma(x) \cdot (1 - \sigma(x))$$

This derivative indicates how the function's output changes with respect to a change in its input, and it plays a pivotal role in the backpropagation algorithm for adjusting weights in the network.

The sigmoid function is a foundational tool in neural networks, providing a smooth and bounded non-linear transformation of inputs. This is particularly useful in layers where the outputs are interpreted as probabilities.

Sigmoid FunctionNeural NetworksAI
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