National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2012AA040608), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 61473279, 61004131) and the Development of Scientific Research Equipment Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. YZ201247)
Principal component analysis (PCA) combined with artificial neural networks was used to classify the spectra of 27 steel samples acquired using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Three methods of spectral data selection, selecting all the peak lines of the spectra, selecting intensive spectral partitions and the whole spectra, were utilized to compare the influence of different inputs of PCA on the classification of steels. Three intensive partitions were selected based on experience and prior knowledge to compare the classification, as the partitions can obtain the best results compared to all peak lines and the whole spectra. We also used two test data sets, mean spectra after being averaged and raw spectra without any pretreatment, to verify the results of the classification. The results of this comprehensive comparison show that a back propagation network trained using the principal components of appropriate, carefully selected spectral partitions can obtain the best results. A perfect result with 100% classification accuracy can be achieved using the intensive spectral partitions ranging of 357-367 nm.