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Supervised Learning in Spiking Neural Networks for Precise Temporal Encoding

Gardner, B and Gruning, A (2016) Supervised Learning in Spiking Neural Networks for Precise Temporal Encoding PLoS One, 11 (8), e0161335.

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Precise spike timing as a means to encode information in neural networks is biologically supported, and is advantageous over frequency-based codes by processing input features on a much shorter time-scale. For these reasons, much recent attention has been focused on the development of supervised learning rules for spiking neural networks that utilise a temporal coding scheme. However, despite significant progress in this area, there still lack rules that have a theoretical basis, and yet can be considered biologically relevant. Here we examine the general conditions under which synaptic plasticity most effectively takes place to support the supervised learning of a precise temporal code. As part of our analysis we examine two spike-based learning methods: one of which relies on an instantaneous error signal to modify synaptic weights in a network (INST rule), and the other one relying on a filtered error signal for smoother synaptic weight modifications (FILT rule). We test the accuracy of the solutions provided by each rule with respect to their temporal encoding precision, and then measure the maximum number of input patterns they can learn to memorise using the precise timings of individual spikes as an indication of their storage capacity. Our results demonstrate the high performance of the FILT rule in most cases, underpinned by the rule’s error-filtering mechanism, which is predicted to provide smooth convergence towards a desired solution during learning. We also find the FILT rule to be most efficient at performing input pattern memorisations, and most noticeably when patterns are identified using spikes with sub-millisecond temporal precision. In comparison with existing work, we determine the performance of the FILT rule to be consistent with that of the highly efficient E-learning Chronotron rule, but with the distinct advantage that our FILT rule is also implementable as an online method for increased biological realism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects : Computer Science
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Computing Science
Authors :
Date : 17 August 2016
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0161335
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright: © 2016 Gardner, Grüning. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 19 Aug 2016 09:32
Last Modified : 19 Aug 2016 09:32

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