Country codes

Example of application of the SOM:

World Poverty Map

The Self-Organizing Map (SOM) can be used to portray complex correlations in statistical data. Here the data consisted of World Bank statistics of countries in 1992. Altogether 39 indicators describing various quality-of-life factors, such as state of health, nutrition, educational services, etc, were used. The complex joint effect of these factors can can be visualized by organizing the countries using the self-organizing map.

Countries that had similar values of the indicators found a place near each other on the map. The different clusters on the map were automatically encoded with different bright colors, nevertheless so that colors change smoothly on the map display. As a result of this process, each country was in fact automatically assigned a color describing its poverty type in relation to other countries.

The poverty structures of the world can then be visualized in a straightforward manner: each country on the geographic map has been colored according to its poverty type.

Countries organized on a self-organizing map based on indicators related to poverty:

poverty map

A map of the world where countries have been colored with the color describing their poverty type (the color was obtained with the SOM in the previous figure):

World map

SOM for a 3D cactus shape distribution   Neural Networks Research Centre
  Helsinki University of Technology

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Last modified 22.9.1997