To construct and optimize a neural network that is capable of predicting the occurrence of recurrent aphthous ulceration (RAU) based on a set of appropriate input data.
Participants and methods
Artificial neural networks (ANN) software employing genetic algorithms to optimize the architecture neural networks was used. Input and output data of 86 participants (predisposing factors and status of the participants with regards to recurrent aphthous ulceration) were used to construct and train the neural networks. The optimized neural networks were then tested using untrained data of a further 10 participants.
The optimized neural network, which produced the most accurate predictions for the presence or absence of recurrent aphthous ulceration was found to employ: gender, hematological (with or without ferritin) and mycological data of the participants, frequency of tooth brushing, and consumption of vegetables and fruits.
Factors appearing to be related to recurrent aphthous ulceration and appropriate for use as input data to construct ANNs that predict recurrent aphthous ulceration were found to include the following: gender, hemoglobin, serum vitamin B12, serum ferritin, red cell folate, salivary candidal colony count, frequency of tooth brushing, and the number of fruits or vegetables consumed daily.