Artificial neural network
An artificial neural network (ANN), usually called neural network
Neural network
The term neural network was traditionally used to refer to a network or circuit of biological neurons. The modern usage of the term often refers to artificial neural networks, which are composed of artificial neurons or nodes...

, is a mathematical model
Mathematical model
A mathematical model is a description of a system using mathematical concepts and language. The process of developing a mathematical model is termed mathematical modeling. Mathematical models are used not only in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines A mathematical model is a...

 or computational model
Computational model
A computational model is a mathematical model in computational science that requires extensive computational resources to study the behavior of a complex system by computer simulation. The system under study is often a complex nonlinear system for which simple, intuitive analytical solutions are...

 that is inspired by the structure and/or functional aspects of biological neural networks. A neural network consists of an interconnected group of artificial neuron
Artificial neuron
An artificial neuron is a mathematical function conceived as a crude model, or abstraction of biological neurons. Artificial neurons are the constitutive units in an artificial neural network...

s, and it processes information using a connectionist
Connectionism is a set of approaches in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience and philosophy of mind, that models mental or behavioral phenomena as the emergent processes of interconnected networks of simple units...

 approach to computation
Computation is defined as any type of calculation. Also defined as use of computer technology in Information processing.Computation is a process following a well-defined model understood and expressed in an algorithm, protocol, network topology, etc...

. In most cases an ANN is an adaptive system
Adaptive system
The term adaptation arises mainly in the biological scope as a trial to study the relationship between the characteristics of living beings and their environments...

 that changes its structure based on external or internal information that flows through the network during the learning phase.