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Spikemax: Spike-based Loss Methods for Classification

Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) are a promising research paradigm for low power edge-based computing. Recent works in SNN backpropagation has enabled training of SNNs for practical tasks. However, since spikes are binary events in time, standard loss formulations are not directly compatible with spike output. As a result, current works are limited to using mean-squared loss of spike count. In this paper, we formulate the output probability interpretation from the spike count measure and introduce spike-based negative log-likelihood measure which are more suited for classification tasks especially in terms of the energy efficiency and inference latency. We compare our loss measures with other existing alternatives and evaluate using classification performances on three neuromorphic benchmark datasets: NMNIST, DVS Gesture and N-TIDIGITS18. In addition, we demonstrate state of the art performances on these datasets, achieving faster inference speed and less energy consumption.

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I Acknowledgments

This research is partially supported by Programmatic grant no. A1687b0033 from the Singapore government’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 plan (Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering domain) and the Flemish Government under the ”Onderzoeksprogramma Artificiele Intelligentie (AI) Vlaanderen”.

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