Temporal Encoding and Multispike Learning Framework for Efficient Recognition of Visual Patterns

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Qiang Yu
  • Shiming Song
  • Chenxiang Ma
  • Jianguo Wei
  • Shengyong Chen


Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems
Online published2 Feb 2021
Publication statusOnline published - 2 Feb 2021


Biological systems under a parallel and spike-based computation endow individuals with abilities to have prompt and reliable responses to different stimuli. Spiking neural networks (SNNs) have thus been developed to emulate their efficiency and to explore principles of spike-based processing. However, the design of a biologically plausible and efficient SNN for image classification still remains as a challenging task. Previous efforts can be generally clustered into two major categories in terms of coding schemes being employed: rate and temporal. The rate-based schemes suffer inefficiency, whereas the temporal-based ones typically end with a relatively poor performance in accuracy. It is intriguing and important to develop an SNN with both efficiency and efficacy being considered. In this article, we focus on the temporal-based approaches in a way to advance their accuracy performance by a great margin while keeping the efficiency on the other hand. A new temporal-based framework integrated with the multispike learning is developed for efficient recognition of visual patterns. Different approaches of encoding and learning under our framework are evaluated with the MNIST and Fashion-MNIST data sets. Experimental results demonstrate the efficient and effective performance of our temporal-based approaches across a variety of conditions, improving accuracies to higher levels that are even comparable to rate-based ones but importantly with a lighter network structure and far less number of spikes. This article attempts to extend the advanced multispike learning to the challenging task of image recognition and bring state of the arts in temporal-based approaches to a novel level. The experimental results could be potentially favorable to low-power and high-speed requirements in the field of artificial intelligence and contribute to attract more efforts toward brain-like computing.

Research Area(s)

  • Computational modeling, Encoding, Feature extraction, Image classification, Image coding, multispike learning, neuromorphic computing, Neurons, spiking neural networks (SNNs), Task analysis, temporal encoding., Visualization