Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Operational Sciences

First Advisor

Lance E. Champaigne, PhD


In recent years, real-valued neural networks have demonstrated promising, and often striking, results across a broad range of domains. This has driven a surge of applications utilizing high-dimensional datasets. While many techniques exist to alleviate issues of high-dimensionality, they all induce a cost in terms of network size or computational runtime. This work examines the use of quaternions, a form of hypercomplex numbers, in neural networks. The constructed networks demonstrate the ability of quaternions to encode high-dimensional data in an efficient neural network structure, showing that hypercomplex neural networks reduce the number of total trainable parameters compared to their real-valued equivalents. Finally, this work introduces a novel training algorithm using a meta-heuristic approach that bypasses the need for analytic quaternion loss or activation functions. This algorithm allows for a broader range of activation functions over current quaternion networks and presents a proof-of-concept for future work.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number