Voltage-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity (VDSP): Unsupervised probabilistic Hebbian plasticity rule based on neurons membrane potential

by   Nikhil Garg, et al.

This study proposes voltage-dependent-synaptic plasticity (VDSP), a novel brain-inspired unsupervised local learning rule for the online implementation of Hebb's plasticity mechanism on neuromorphic hardware. The proposed VDSP learning rule updates the synaptic conductance on the spike of the postsynaptic neuron only, which reduces by a factor of two the number of updates with respect to standard spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). This update is dependent on the membrane potential of the presynaptic neuron, which is readily available as part of neuron implementation and hence does not require additional memory for storage. Moreover, the update is also regularized on synaptic weight and prevents explosion or vanishing of weights on repeated stimulation. Rigorous mathematical analysis is performed to draw an equivalence between VDSP and STDP. To validate the system-level performance of VDSP, we train a single-layer spiking neural network (SNN) for the recognition of handwritten digits. We report 85.01 ± 0.76 for a network of 100 output neurons on the MNIST dataset. The performance improves when scaling the network size (89.93 ± 0.41 neurons, 90.56 ± 0.27 for 500 neurons), which validates the applicability of the proposed learning rule for large-scale computer vision tasks. Interestingly, the learning rule better adapts than STDP to the frequency of input signal and does not require hand-tuning of hyperparameters.


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