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Representation learning using event-based STDP

Abstract : Although representation learning methods developed within the framework of traditional neural networks are relatively mature, developing a spiking representation model remains a challenging problem. This paper proposes an event-based method to train a feedforward spiking neural network (SNN) layer for extracting visual features. The method introduces a novel spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule and a threshold adjustment rule both derived from a vector quantization-like objective function subject to a sparsity constraint. The STDP rule is obtained by the gradient of a vector quantization criterion that is converted to spike-based, spatio-temporally local update rules in a spiking network of leaky, integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons. Independence and sparsity of the model are achieved by the threshold adjustment rule and by a softmax function implementing inhibition in the representation layer consisting of WTA-thresholded spiking neurons. Together, these mechanisms implement a form of spikebased, competitive learning. Two sets of experiments are performed on the MNIST and natural image datasets. The results demonstrate a sparse spiking visual representation model with low reconstruction loss comparable with state-of-the-art visual coding approaches, yet our rule is local in both time and space, thus biologically plausible and hardware friendly.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 10:58:37 AM
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Amirhossein Tavanaei, Timothée Masquelier, Anthony Maida. Representation learning using event-based STDP. Neural Networks, Elsevier, 2018, 105, pp.294--303. ⟨10.1016/j.neunet.2018.05.018⟩. ⟨hal-02341981⟩

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