KIP publications

year 2017
author(s) Ilja Bytschok, Dominik Dold, Johannes Schemmel, Karlheinz Meier, Mihai A. Petrovici
title Spike-based probabilistic inference with correlated noise
KIP-Nummer HD-KIP 17-56
KIP-Gruppe(n) F9
document type Paper
source BMC Neuroscience 2017, 18 (Suppl 1):P200
doi 10.1186/s12868-017-0372-1
Abstract (en)

A steadily increasing body of evidence suggests that the brain performs probabilistic inference to interpret and respond to sensory input and that trial-to-trial variability in neural activity plays an important role. The neural sampling hypothesis interprets stochastic neural activity as sampling from an underlying probability distribution and has been shown to be compatible with biologically observed firing patterns. In many studies, uncorrelated noise is used as a source of stochasticity, discounting the fact that cortical neurons may share a significant portion of their presynaptic partners, which impacts their computation. This is relevant in biology and for implementations of neural networks where bandwidth constraints limit the amount of independent noise.
When receiving correlated noise, the resulting correlations cannot be directly countered by changes in synaptic weights W. We show that this is contingent on the chosen coding: when changing the state space from {0,1} to {-1,1}, correlated noise has the exact same effect as changes in W'.
The translation of the problem to the {-1,1} space allows to find a weight configuration that compensates for the induced correlations. For an artificial embedding of sampling networks, this allows a straightforward transfer between platforms with different bandwidth constraints.
The existence of the mapping is important for learning. Since in the {-1,1}-coding the correlated noise can be compensated by parameter changes and the probability distributions can be kept invariant when changing the coding, the distribution will be found in the {0,1}-coding during learning, as demonstrated in simulations. Conclusively, sampling spiking networks are impervious to noise correlations when trained. If such computation happens in cortex, network plasticity does not need to take account of shared noise inputs.

  author   = {Ilja Bytschok, Dominik Dold, Johannes Schemmel, Karlheinz Meier,  Mihai A. Petrovici},
  title    = {Spike-based probabilistic inference with correlated noise},
  booktitle = {BMC Neuroscience 2017},
  year     = {2017},
  volume   = {18},
  pages    = {P200},
  publisher = {Organization for Computational Neurosciences}
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