Exploring CNN Architecture: A Comprehensive Guide – IQCode

CNN Architecture Overview

In the world of AI and deep learning, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) are a popular type of neural network. CNN’s are widely used in applications such as image processing, image segmentation, and self-driving cars, to name a few. This article will cover the typical architecture of a CNN as well as some popular variations such as LeNet, AlexNet, and VGGNet. We will also discuss the advantages of using a CNN in deep learning applications.

What are Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)?

CNN stands for Convolutional Neural Networks, which is a type of neural network used to detect visual patterns in images. The convolution refers to a mathematical function that multiplies two matrices to extract information from the image. This multi-layer neural network is complex and includes convolution layers, pooling layers, fully connected layers, and uses backpropagation algorithm. In computer vision tasks, CNN neural networks are popular and have piqued many people’s interests.

CNN Architecture: Understanding the Building Blocks

A Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) is designed to compress images into a format that is easier to process while preserving relevant elements. The three building blocks of a typical CNN Architecture are:
Convolutional Layer (CONV), Pooling Layer (POOL), and Fully Connected Layer (FC).

Conv is the foundation of the CNN and performs the convolution operation using kernels/filters. POOL reduces dimensionality by either returning the maximum or average value in the kernel’s area. FC layer works with a flattened input, and the classification process starts here.

The above layers are enhanced with activation functions like ReLU for non-linearity and the Dropout Layer to prevent overfitting during training.

Understanding these building blocks is essential to creating scalable CNN architectures for learning features.

LeNet Architecture

LeNet is a basic CNN architecture that is suitable for teaching the basics of CNNs. It can be run on a CPU if a GPU is not available, making it a great first CNN. LeNet-5 is the most widely used and first CNN design, and it has been used effectively for recognizing handwritten digits. The architecture consists of seven layers, including three convolutional layers, two subsampling layers, and two fully connected layers.


AlexNet’s architecture is heavily based on LeNet’s architecture. It was the first convolutional neural network to utilize the graphics processing unit (GPU) for enhanced performance. The AlexNet architecture uses convolutional filters and the Rectified Linear Unit (ReLU) activation function in each convolutional layer. Pooling layers are used for max pooling. The input size is fixed due to the presence of fully connected layers. Its design was intended for large-scale image datasets and it was highly successful when first introduced. It has 60 million characteristics in total.VGGNet Architecture

The VGGNet Architecture is a type of CNN that processes 224×224 pixel RGB images in a unique style. Instead of using small window sizes and strides in the first convolutional layer, VGGNet uses tiny receptive fields and a stride of 1 pixel to retain spatial resolution. It features three fully connected layers, two with 4096 channels and the third with 1000 channels representing each class. Additionally, it’s widely applicable for tasks like object detection, making it a cost-effective and reliable baseline option for various computer vision applications.

Advantages of CNN Architecture

Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) has numerous advantages:

  • CNN is efficient in terms of computation.
  • It utilizes parameter sharing, convolution, and pooling algorithms.
  • As a result of running on any device, they are globally popular.
  • Human intervention is not necessary for it to identify relevant features.
  • It can be applied in different industries for various purposes.
  • By fine-tuning the CNN and feeding the data on each level, valuable features can be extracted from a previously trained CNN.

//Example of how to fine-tune a CNN

Understanding Convolutional Neural Network

This blog explained the various concepts of Convolutional Neural Network. Each component is crucial and collectively they form a powerful and efficient network called CNN, which is integral to deep learning applications.

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