SN: A Simulator for Connectionist Models

This paper describes the initial implementation of our neural network simulator SN (later renamed Lush). Various incarnations of SN have been developed continuously since 1987, some of which were sold commercially by Neuristique until 2001. SN and its derivatives have been used to build many successful technologies and products:

  • A handwriting recognition system used by many banks across the world reads checks automatically. Some ATM machines made by NCR can read checks using compiled SN code running on embedded DSP boards. A version of this check reader is embedded in large check reading engines sold by NCR and OrboGraph. According to some estimates, this system used to process 10 to 20 percent of all the checks written in the US.
  • The first prototype of the DjVu image and document compression system, including the first decoder and the first foreground/background segmenter.
  • Numerous machine learning algorithms developed have been developed with SN, including convolutionnal neural networks for image recognition or signal processing, and early implementations of Support Vector Machines.


Léon Bottou and Yann Le Cun: SN: A Simulator for Connectionist Models, Proceedings of NeuroNimes 88, 371-382, Nimes, France, 1988.

sn-1988.djvu sn-1988.pdf

  author = {Bottou, {L\'eon} and {Le Cun}, Yann},
  title = {SN: A Simulator for Connectionist Models},
  pages = {371-382},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of NeuroNimes 88},
  address = {Nimes, France},
  year = {1988},
  url = {},
papers/bottou-lecun-88.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/31 11:35 by leonb
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