Artificial neural network modelling of uncertainty in gamma-ray spectrometry
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An artificial neural network (ANN) model for the prediction of measuring uncertainties in gamma-ray spectrometry was developed and optimized. A three-layer feed-forward ANN with back-propagation learning algorithm was used to model uncertainties of measurement of activity levels of eight radionuclides (Ra-226, U-238, U-235, K-40, Th-232, Cs-134, Cs-137 and Be-7) in soil samples as a function of measurement time. It was shown that the neural network provides useful data even from small experimental databases. The performance of the optimized neural network was found to be very good, with correlation coefficients (R-2) between measured and predicted uncertainties ranging from 0.9050 to 0.9915. The correlation coefficients did not significantly deteriorate when the network was tested on samples with greatly different uranium-to-thorium (U-238/Th-232) ratios. The differences between measured and predicted uncertainties were not influenced by the absolute values of uncertainties of measured... radionuclide activities. Once the ANN is trained, it could be employed in analyzing soil samples regardless of the U-238/Th-232 ratio. It was concluded that a considerable saving in time could be obtained using the trained neural network model for predicting the measurement times needed to attain the desired statistical accuracy. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.