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This is an interview question

How are neural nets related to Fourier transforms?

I could find papers that talk about methods to process the Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) by a single-layer neural network with a linear transfer function. Is there some other correlation that I'm missing?

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They are not related in any meaningful sense. Sure, you can use them both to extract features, or do any number of things, but the same can be said about a many techniques. I would have asked "what kind of neural network?" to see if the interviewer had something specific in mind.

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    $\begingroup$ It's a very strange question idd. Maybe he ment CNNs. I agree with your answer though you can make connections like regression if you really need to. But in the end it's just 2 different things. $\endgroup$
    – runDOSrun
    Mar 9 '15 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for helping with the approach. I think the clarification question you used would definitely be a good way to go about this $\endgroup$
    – Rishi Dua
    Mar 10 '15 at 7:21
  • $\begingroup$ I guess I agree with the strange question thing. Yup, he could've meant CNNs. Idk as I was not asked this in any of my interviews. I read this question somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – Rishi Dua
    Mar 10 '15 at 7:22
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The similarity is regression. NNs can be used for regression and the fourier transform is in its heart just a curve fit of multiple sin and cos functions to some data.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well that does make some sense but doesn't it look like it's a vague connection? $\endgroup$
    – Rishi Dua
    Mar 10 '15 at 7:20
  • $\begingroup$ It is vague but there just is no obvious connection. It's one of those interview questions that try to capture many things at once but just fail $\endgroup$
    – runDOSrun
    Mar 10 '15 at 10:17

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