Soft Computing

, Volume 23, Issue 23, pp 12331–12345 | Cite as

MLP-LOA: a metaheuristic approach to design an optimal multilayer perceptron

  • Priti BansalEmail author
  • Shakshi Gupta
  • Sumit Kumar
  • Shubham Sharma
  • Shreshth Sharma
Methodologies and Application


Designing an ANN is a complex task as its performance is highly dependent on the network architecture as well as the training algorithm used to select proper synaptic weights and biases. Choosing an optimal design leads to greater accuracy when the ANN is used for classification. In this paper, we propose an approach multilayer perceptron-lion optimization algorithm (MLP-LOA) that uses lion optimization algorithm to find an optimum multilayer perceptron (MLP) architecture for a given classification problem. MLP-LOA uses back-propagation (BP) for training during the optimization process. MLP-LOA also optimizes learning rate and momentum as they have a significant role while training MLP using BP. LOA is a population-based metaheuristic algorithm inspired by the lifestyle of lions and their cooperative behavior. LOA, unlike other metaheuristics, uses different strategies to search for optimal solution, performs strong local search and helps to escape from worst solutions. A new fitness function is proposed to evaluate MLP based on its generalization ability as well as the network’s complexity. This is done to avoid dense architectures as they increase chances of overfitting. The proposed approach is tested on different classification problems selected from University of California Irvine repository and compared with the existing state-of-the-art techniques in terms of accuracy achieved during testing phase. Experimental results show that MLP-LOA performs better as compared to the existing state-of-the-art techniques.


Multilayer perceptron Lion optimization algorithm Classification Back-propagation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Priti Bansal, Shakshi Gupta, Sumit Kumar, Shubham Sharma and Shreshth Sharma declare that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information TechnologyNetaji Subhas Institute of TechnologyDwarka, New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Information TechnologyKIET Group of InstitutionsGhaziabadIndia

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