5 Excel Neural Network Add-Ins

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The five neural network Excel add-ins listed below make the job of using neural networks fairly straightforward. They all automate the training and testing process to some extent and some allow the neural network architecture and training process to be tuned.

4Cast XL

This product is easy to use but comes with some advanced features. These include more than 2 output nodes (most other neural networks have just a single node), graphing capabilities, pre-processing and data scaling, and other options for architecture specification and training modes. More advanced than some other Excel add-in alternatives. Very low price of US$ 36 and this includes other tools and various manuals/how-to books.

Alyuda Forecaster

This automates much of the neural network building process and boasts automatic neural network architecture and parameter selection. Various graphics support validation of the models and provide statistics on accuracy. A single user licence comes in at US$197 and unlimited site at US$997

NeuralTools6

Palisade provide a number of decision support tools and NeuralTools6 is their neural network offering. It provides a great deal of functionality including training sensitivity analysis to establish the reliability of models. Setting up training, testing and prediction is pretty well automatic and accommodates data spanning multiple worksheets. The neural network manager allows the inevitable large collections of neural networks to be managed easily and both categorical and numerical data are automatically identified. This is an easy to use tool for both end users and analysts. User licence costs GBP£ 695 for the Industrial version and GBP£ 495 for the Professional version with a 1000 cases per dataset limit.

NeuroSolutions for Excel

NeuroSolutions provide several neural network products and the Excel add-in is both simple to use, but has advanced features for those who need them. The ‘Leave-N-Out’ training lets users omit different data sections in each training run. The result is more robust models. It also features and express builder that automatically builds, trains and tests multiple neural network topologies and reports on the best performing models. Licences cost US$295.

NeuroXL

One of several tools provided by Olsoft, NeuroXL Predictor is very easy to use with simple selection of training data and test data. A small number of parameters can be tuned (training rate for example) if necessary, but the product suggests suitable values. Licences cost US$ 99.95.