Let say I have a feature that may have one of 4 values, 1,2,3,4. I want to provide it as a NN input, what is proper way to do that?
I can map it like 1 -> -1.0 | 2 -> -0.3 | 3 -> 0.3 | 4 -> 1.0 , or something similar to have mean of 0.0 and std near 1.0. But in this example 1 is much different than 4 compared to difference of 3 and 4, and I don't want such discrimination cos 1 and 4 are equally different to me as 3 and 4.
Another way is to have 4 features where each of them relates to a class 1,2,3,4 and has value of 1 if initial feature has value that matches it, and has value of 0 if it doesn't match it.
Like this 1 -> [1,0,0,0], 2 -> [0,1,0,0], 3 -> [0,0,1,0], 4 -> [0,0,0,1] But I don't like here the fact that this feature gets to much weight, especially if it has many classes.
I was thinking to make separated layer just for this feature, do you have some better solution?