Publications / SAND Report

Combining Spike Time Dependent Plasticity (STDP) and Backpropagation (BP) for Robust and Data Efficient Spiking Neural Networks (SNN)

Wang, Felix W.; Teeter, Corinne M.

National security applications require artificial neural networks (ANNs) that consume less power, are fast and dynamic online learners, are fault tolerant, and can learn from unlabeled and imbalanced data. We explore whether two fundamentally different, traditional learning algorithms from artificial intelligence and the biological brain can be merged. We tackle this problem from two directions. First, we start from a theoretical point of view and show that the spike time dependent plasticity (STDP) learning curve observed in biological networks can be derived using the mathematical framework of backpropagation through time. Second, we show that transmission delays, as observed in biological networks, improve the ability of spiking networks to perform classification when trained using a backpropagation of error (BP) method. These results provide evidence that STDP could be compatible with a BP learning rule. Combining these learning algorithms will likely lead to networks more capable of meeting our national security missions.