25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • TL;DR: A network of static time Hodgkin-Huxley neurons can perform well on computer vision datasets.
  • Abstract: This paper demonstrates that a computational neural network model using ion channel-based conductances to transmit information can solve standard computer vision datasets at near state-of-the-art performance. Although not fully biologically accurate, this model incorporates fundamental biophysical principles underlying the control of membrane potential and the processing of information by Ohmic ion channels. The key computational step employs Conductance-Weighted Averaging (CWA) in place of the traditional affine transformation, representing a fundamentally different computational principle. Importantly, CWA based networks are self-normalizing and range-limited. We also demonstrate for the first time that a network with excitatory and inhibitory neurons and nonnegative synapse strengths can successfully solve computer vision problems. Although CWA models do not yet surpass the current state-of-the-art in deep learning, the results are competitive on CIFAR-10. There remain avenues for improving these networks, e.g. by more closely modeling ion channel function and connectivity patterns of excitatory and inhibitory neurons found in the brain.
  • Keywords: conductance-weighted averaging, neural modeling, normalization methods
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