by John Sweeney
20 Stagecoach Road
Selden, NY 11784
Phone: 516 696-3333
Product: Neural net development package
Equipment requirements: IBM compatible 386 or better with 32-bit numeric coprocessor. DOS 3.0 or
higher. No hard disk drive required if there is enough space on floppy disks. Cannot run under
Windows or OS/2, but a Windows version is to be released soon.
Price: $747 for N-Train; $159 for TradeNet module.
It looks as if the neural net idea I may not follow the fads of the past: more and more of these products
are appearing—and selling. Where I could once recall off the top of my head two or three
trading-oriented neural network packages, my latest count showed 12. Of these, one that is prepared for
heavier duty is N-Train, which supports fast, full 32-bit addressing as well as 64-bit numeric processing
for accurate adjusting of weights while building networks.
One nifty feature of N-Train is the TradeNet module. This program supplies the hook between
TradeStation (2.0 or higher) and N-Train. You can see the neural net's indicator directly in TradeStation's
graphics, plus TradeStation is able to set up the fact files (the raw data) that the neutral network will use
to come up with its solution. Though this does not aliminate the interface issues with N-Train, it is an
order of magnitude more efficient and effective for a trader than doing things in DOS or working from
within a spreadsheet.
N-Train itself is not your modern gee-whiz package for spectacular color graphics, point-and-click
interface and 101 preprogrammed indicators built for the masses of retail traders. This is a workaday
package of programs for a user skilled in file handling, spreadsheet import/export, spreadsheet
formulations and even a little C++. This is the real thing, rawly presented in the cold, black screen of
DOS. If a slowly blinking cursor waiting for your typed commands gives you chills, if picking up hints of
problems from the way DOS displays a file or flashes an error message isn't your cup of tea, read no