I have a problem. I have a CNN model which is used for an NLP problem. This is written in Python. I have questions about this, which I can't find an answer to.

  • Why is ReLu used inside the Conv1D layer and not Softmax ?
  • Why is ReLu used again as activation function in the first Dense-Layer and why Softmax afterwards ?
model1 = Sequential()

                ,weights = [embedding_matrix] #Supplied embedding matrix created from glove
                ,input_length = maxlen
model1.add(Conv1D(256, 7, activation="relu"))
model1.add(Conv1D(128, 5, activation="relu"))
model1.add(Dense(128, activation="relu"))
model1.add(Dense(number, activation='softmax'))

1 Answer 1


The softmax activation is used as the activation function of the last layer in multiclass classification problems because it gives a categorical probability distribution over N discrete options.

ReLU is used as a middle-layer (either convolution or dense) activation function because it is a non-linearity that works well and is robust to the vanishing gradient problem (as opposed to tanh or sigmoid).


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