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Computing with Action Potentials

Hopfield, John J. and Brody, Carlos D. and Roweis, Sam (1998) Computing with Action Potentials. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10 (NIPS 1997). Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems. No.10. MIT Press , Cambridge, MA, pp. 166-172. ISBN 0-262-10076-2.

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Most computational engineering based loosely on biology uses continuous variables to represent neural activity. Yet most neurons communicate with action potentials. The engineering view is equivalent to using a rate-code for representing information and for computing. An increasing number of examples are being discovered in which biology may not be using rate codes. Information can be represented using the timing of action potentials, and efficiently computed with in this representation. The "analog match" problem of odour identification is a simple problem which can be efficiently solved using action potential timing and an underlying rhythm. By using adapting units to effect a fundamental change of representation of a problem, we map the recognition of words (having uniform time-warp) in connected speech into the same analog match problem. We describe the architecture and preliminary results of such a recognition system. Using the fast events of biology in conjunction with an underlying rhythm is one way to overcome the limits of an event-driven view of computation. When the intrinsic hardware is much faster than the time scale of change of inputs, this approach can greatly increase the effective computation per unit time on a given quantity of hardware.

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Additional Information:© 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The authors thank Sanjoy Mahajan and Erik Winfree for comments and help with preparation of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering as a part of the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center Program under grant EEC-9402726. Roweis is supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada under an NSERC 1967 Award.
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Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of CanadaNSERC 1967
Series Name:Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems
Issue or Number:10
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160223-165608841
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64707
Deposited On:24 Feb 2016 18:20
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:40

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