Two multimodal classification models aimed at enhancing object classification through the integration of semantically congruent unimodal stimuli are introduced. The feature-integrating model, inspired by multisensory integration in the subcortical superior colliculus, combines unimodal features which are subsequently classified by a multimodal classifier. The decision-integrating model, inspired by integration in primary cortical areas, classifies unimodal stimuli independently using unimodal classifiers and classifies the combined decisions using a multimodal classifier. The multimodal classifier models are implemented using multilayer perceptrons and multivariate statistical classifiers. Experiments involving the classification of noisy and attenuated auditory and visual representations of ten digits are designed to demonstrate the properties of the multimodal classifiers and to compare the performances of multimodal and unimodal classifiers. The experimental results show that the multimodal classification systems exhibit an important aspect of the “inverse effectiveness principle” by yielding significantly higher classification accuracies when compared with those of the unimodal classifiers. Furthermore, the flexibility offered by the generalized models enables the simulations and evaluations of various combinations of multimodal stimuli and classifiers under varying uncertainty conditions.
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