Biological Cybernetics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 59–69

Self-organized formation of topologically correct feature maps


  • Teuvo Kohonen
    • Department of Technical PhysicsHelsinki University of Technology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00337288

Cite this article as:
Kohonen, T. Biol. Cybern. (1982) 43: 59. doi:10.1007/BF00337288


This work contains a theoretical study and computer simulations of a new self-organizing process. The principal discovery is that in a simple network of adaptive physical elements which receives signals from a primary event space, the signal representations are automatically mapped onto a set of output responses in such a way that the responses acquire the same topological order as that of the primary events. In other words, a principle has been discovered which facilitates the automatic formation of topologically correct maps of features of observable events. The basic self-organizing system is a one- or two-dimensional array of processing units resembling a network of threshold-logic units, and characterized by short-range lateral feedback between neighbouring units. Several types of computer simulations are used to demonstrate the ordering process as well as the conditions under which it fails.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982