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where x is the input to a neuron. This is also known as a ramp function and is analogous to half-wave rectification in electrical engineering. This activation function was introduced by Kunihiko Fukushima in 1969 in the context of visual feature extraction in hierarchical neural networks. It was later argued that it has strong biological motivations and mathematical justifications. In 2011 it was found to enable better training of deeper networks, compared to the widely used activation functions prior to 2011, e.g., the logistic sigmoid (which is inspired by probability theory; see logistic regression) and its more practical counterpart, the hyperbolic tangent. The rectifier is, as of 2017[update], the most popular activation function for deep neural networks.
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