*Richard Maclin, Jude W. Shavlik*

We describe a method for using machine learning to refine algorithms represented as generalized finite-state automata. The knowledge in an automaton is translated into an artificial neural network, and then refined with backpropagation on a set of examples. Our technique for translating an automaton into a network extends KBANN, a system that translates a set of propositional rules into a corresponding neural network. The extended system, FSKBANN, allows one to refine the large class of algorithms that can be represented as state-based processes. As a test, we use FSKBANN to refine the Chou-Fasman algorithm, a method for predicting how globular proteins fold. Empirical evidence shows the refined algorithm FSKBANN produces is statistically significantly more accurate than both the original Chou-Fasman algorithm and a neural network trained using the standard approach.

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