The objectives of this trial were to develop multiple linear regression (MLR) models and three-layer Levenberg-Marquardt back propagation (BP3) neural network models using the Cornell Net Carbohydrate and Protein System (CNCPS) carbohydrate fractions as dietary variables for predicting in vitro rumen volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and further compare MLR and BP3 models. Two datasets were established for the trial, of which the first dataset containing 45 feed mixtures with concentrate/roughage ratios of 10∶90, 20∶80, 30∶70, 40∶60, and 50∶50 were used for establishing the models and the second dataset containing 10 feed mixtures with the same concentrate/roughage ratios with the first dataset were used for testing the models. The VFA production of feed samples was determined using an in vitro incubation technique. The CNCPS carbohydrate fractions (g), i.e. CA (sugars), CB1 (starch and pectin), CB2 (available cell wall) of feed samples were calculated based on chemical analysis. The performance of MLR models and BP3 models were compared using a paired t-test, the determination coefficient (R2) and the root mean square prediction error (RMSPE) between observed and predicted values. Statistical analysis indicated that VFA production (mmol) was significantly correlated with CNCPS carbohydrate fractions (g) CA, CB1, and CB2 in a multiple linear pattern. Compared with MLR models, BP3 models were more accurate in predicting acetate, propionate, and total VFA production while similar in predicting butyrate production. The trial indicated that both MLR and BP3 models were suitable for predicting in vitro rumen VFA production of feed mixtures using CNCPS carbohydrate fractions CA, CB1, and CB2 as input dietary variables while BP3 models showed greater accuracy for prediction.
Dong, R., & Zhao, G. (2014). Predicting in vitro rumen VFA production using CNCPS carbohydrate fractions with multiple linear models and artificial neural networks. PloS One, 9(12), e116290. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116290