A Three-Threshold Learning Rule Approaches the Maximal Capacity of Recurrent Neural Networks

PLoS Computational Biology
Alireza AlemiR Zecchina


Understanding the theoretical foundations of how memories are encoded and retrieved in neural populations is a central challenge in neuroscience. A popular theoretical scenario for modeling memory function is the attractor neural network scenario, whose prototype is the Hopfield model. The model simplicity and the locality of the synaptic update rules come at the cost of a poor storage capacity, compared with the capacity achieved with perceptron learning algorithms. Here, by transforming the perceptron learning rule, we present an online learning rule for a recurrent neural network that achieves near-maximal storage capacity without an explicit supervisory error signal, relying only upon locally accessible information. The fully-connected network consists of excitatory binary neurons with plastic recurrent connections and non-plastic inhibitory feedback stabilizing the network dynamics; the memory patterns to be memorized are presented online as strong afferent currents, producing a bimodal distribution for the neuron synaptic inputs. Synapses corresponding to active inputs are modified as a function of the value of the local fields with respect to three thresholds. Above the highest threshold, and below the lowest threshold, ...Continue Reading


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