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Deep Learning Algorithms - The Complete Guide

Deep Learning Algorithms - The Complete Guide

Through this blog, we dive into the concept of deep learning algorithms and understand the top deep learning algorithms that are widely used in the field of machine learning, along with their pros and cons, and know the real-life applications of each deep learning algorithm.

Given below are the following topics we are going to explore:

Check out this video to gain in-depth knowledge about deep learning concepts:

What is a Deep Learning Algorithm?

Deep Learning algorithms are the type of algorithm that acts as a smart system that learns from examples. This algorithm mimics human behavior by using a neural network that is made of interconnected parts, which can understand things like images, text, videos, or even speech.

Imagine you are teaching a child how to recognize animals. At first, you show them pictures of different animals and tell them what each animal’s name is. Similarly, deep learning algorithms are shown lots and lots of examples to learn from. For instance, to recognize cats, they see many cat pictures labeled as “cat.”

These algorithms learn by finding patterns in the examples. They divide the information into layers, just similar to how we might think about the features of an object. For a cat, a deep learning algorithm might notice things like pointy ears, whiskers, and a certain body shape. 

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Top Deep Learning Algorithms in Machine Learning

  1. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
  2. Radial Basis Function Networks (RBFNs)
  3. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs)
  4. Long Short-Term Memory Networks (LSTMs)
  5. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)
  6. Autoencoders Deep Learning Algorithm
  7. Deep Belief Networks
  8. Multilayer Perceptrons (MLPs)
  9. Self Organizing Maps (SOMs)
  10. Restricted Boltzmann Machines( RBMs)
  11. Feedforward Neural Networks (FNN)
  12. Deep Q-Networks (DQN)

Here is the list of the 12 best deep learning algorithms that are commonly used in machine learning to make the task easier and simpler:

1. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs)

CNNs function as a specific form of artificial intelligence predominantly employed to understand visual data, such as images and videos. They are created to mimic the human brain’s visual processing, enabling them to identify patterns, features, and objects present in images.

  • Pros: Excellent for image recognition, object detection, and computer vision tasks due to their ability to learn hierarchical representations.
  • Cons: Can be computationally expensive and require a large amount of data to train effectively.
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)

2. Radial Basis Function Networks (RBFNs)

Radial Basis Function Networks (RBFNs) are a distinctive subset of artificial neural networks. They function by employing radial basis functions within their hidden layers as activation functions. Their proficiency shines in tasks centered on function approximation and classification, especially when handling data that exhibits clear cluster boundaries.

  • Pros: Effective for function approximation and interpolation tasks, particularly in cases with well-defined cluster boundaries.
  • Cons: Can struggle with higher-dimensional data and may require careful tuning of the number of radial basis functions.
Radial Basis Function Networks (RBFNs)

3. Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs)

Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) constitute a specific type of neural network architecture specifically designed to process sequential data by retaining information over time through loops within the network.

  • Pros: Ability to handle sequences of varying lengths and capture temporal dependencies.
  • Cons: Prone to vanishing/exploding gradients, making it challenging to capture long-term dependencies.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs)

4. Long Short-Term Memory Networks (LSTMs)

Long Short-Term Memory Networks (LSTMs) stand as a sophisticated type of recurrent neural network architecture, devised to address the vanishing gradient problem in traditional RNNs. They are adept at learning and remembering long-term dependencies in sequential data by controlling the flow of information through a mechanism known as “gates.”

  • Pros: Effective in capturing long-term dependencies and mitigating the vanishing gradient issue in RNNs.
  • Cons: Computationally more expensive than standard RNNs.
Long Short-Term Memory Networks (LSTMs)

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5. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) represent a powerful class of machine learning models comprising two interconnected networks: a generator and a discriminator. They work collectively by engaging in a competitive game to generate synthetic data resembling real data while improving their ability to discern between real and fake data.

  • Pros: Can create high-quality, realistic synthetic data and has various applications in art generation, image editing, and data augmentation.
  • Cons: Can be challenging to train and prone to mode collapse (where the generator produces limited varieties of outputs).
Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

If you’re not familiar with loss functions, consider exploring a blog on loss functions in deep learning to enhance your understanding.

6. Autoencoders Deep Learning Algorithm

Autoencoders are a class of deep learning algorithms used for unsupervised learning tasks. They work by compressing input data into a latent or compact representation and then reconstructing the original data as accurately as possible. This process helps in learning essential features and reducing data dimensionality.

  • Pros: Useful for dimensionality reduction, feature learning, and anomaly detection.
  • Cons: Sensitive to noise in the input data, and the quality of reconstructions highly depends on the architecture and training data.
Autoencoders Deep Learning Algorithm

7. Deep Belief Networks

Deep Belief Networks are complex neural networks composed of multiple layers of probabilistic models. They integrate unsupervised and supervised learning techniques and are particularly useful for tasks involving feature learning and classification. These networks are often employed in hierarchical representations and pre-training deep neural networks.

  • Pros: Effective in unsupervised pre-training for deep neural networks, especially in restricted Boltzmann machine layers.
  • Cons: Training can be slow and computationally intensive due to the layered structure.
Deep Belief Networks

Also, check our blog on The Unstoppable Power of Deep Learning – AlphaGo vs. Lee Sedol Case Study

8. Multilayer Perceptrons (MLPs)

Multilayer Perceptrons (MLPs) are a fundamental type of artificial neural network consisting of multiple layers of interconnected neurons. They process information in a feedforward manner, moving from input to output through hidden layers, enabling them to learn complex relationships and perform tasks like regression and classification.

  • Pros: It is versatile and can approximate any function given enough neurons and layers. Commonly used in regression and classification problems.
  • Cons: May overfit on small datasets and struggle with capturing complex relationships in data without sufficient depth.
Multilayer Perceptrons (MLPs)

9. Self Organizing Maps (SOMs)

Self Organizing Maps (SOMs) are a type of artificial neural network used for unsupervised learning and pattern recognition. They organize and map high-dimensional data into a lower-dimensional space while preserving topological relationships, allowing visualization and clustering of complex data patterns.

  • Pros: Effective for dimensionality reduction, visualization of high-dimensional data, and identifying data clusters.
  • Cons: Sensitive to initialization and may require parameter tuning for optimal performance.
Self Organizing Maps (SOMs)

10. Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs)

Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs) are a specific form of neural network composed of two layers: visible and hidden. They utilize a stochastic approach to learn patterns in input data, making them effective for tasks like collaborative filtering, feature learning, and dimensionality reduction in various machine learning applications.

  • Pros: Useful in collaborative filtering, feature learning, and dimensionality reduction tasks.
  • Cons: Training can be slow, especially in larger models, and requires careful parameter tuning.
Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs)

Here are the Top 50 Deep Learning Interview Questions for you!

11. Feedforward Neural Networks (FNNs)

Feedforward Neural Networks (FNNs) are a foundational type of artificial neural network where information flows unidirectionally, from the input layer through hidden layers to the output layer without any cycles. They are versatile and capable of approximating various functions, commonly used in solving regression and classification problems in machine learning and pattern recognition tasks.

  • Pros: Simple architecture, easier to train, and suitable for many supervised learning tasks.
  • Cons: May struggle with sequential or temporal data and might require substantial data preprocessing.
Feedforward Neural Networks (FNNs)

12. Deep Q-Networks (DQN)

Deep Q-Networks (DQNs) are a class of deep reinforcement learning algorithms that combine deep neural networks with Q-learning, enabling machines to learn optimal actions in complex environments. They efficiently approximate the action-value function, which is crucial for decision-making in tasks such as game-playing and robotics.

  • Pros: Effective in learning policies in complex environments and games.
  • Cons: Training can be unstable due to the correlation between sequential observations and might require careful parameter tuning.
Deep Q-Networks (DQN)


Deep learning is set to continue transforming industries and social sectors. The fusion of deep learning with other technologies like reinforcement learning, natural language processing, and robotics will drive innovation further. Soon, we are expected to see more efficient, adaptable, and ethical AI systems playing a pivotal role in shaping our future.

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About the Author

Senior Research Analyst

As a Senior Research Analyst, Arya Karn brings expertise in crafting compelling technical content in Data Science and Machine Learning. With extensive knowledge in AI/ML, NLP, DBMS, and Generative AI, his works get lakhs of views across social platforms that benefit both technical and business spheres.