Using Intel's Loihi neuromorphic research chip and ABR's Nengo Deep Learning toolkit, we analyze the inference speed, dynamic power consumption, and energy cost per inference of a two-layer neural network keyword spotter trained to recognize a single phrase. We perform comparative analyses of this keyword spotter running on more conventional hardware devices including a CPU, a GPU, Nvidia's Jetson TX1, and the Movidius Neural Compute Stick. Our results indicate that for this inference application, Loihi outperforms all of these alternatives on an energy cost per inference basis while maintaining near-equivalent inference accuracy. Furthermore, an analysis of tradeoffs between network size, inference speed, and energy cost indicates that Loihi's comparative advantage over other low-power computing devices improves for larger networks.
NengoDL is a software framework designed to combine the strengths of neuromorphic modelling and deep learning. NengoDL allows users to construct biologically detailed neural models, intermix those models with deep learning elements (such as convolutional networks), and then efficiently simulate those models in an easy-to-use, unified framework. In addition, NengoDL allows users to apply deep learning training methods to optimize the parameters of biological neural models. In this paper we present basic usage examples, benchmarking, and details on the key implementation elements of NengoDL. More details can be found at https://www.nengo.ai/nengo-dl .
Deep learning approaches have shown remarkable performance in many areas of pattern recognition recently. In spite of their power in hierarchical feature extraction and classification, this type of neural network is computationally expensive and difficult to implement on hardware for portable devices. In an other vein of research on neural network architectures, spiking neural networks (SNNs) have been described as power-efficient models because of their sparse, spike-based communication framework. SNNs are brain-inspired such that they seek to mimic the accurate and efficient functionality of the brain. Recent studies try to take advantages of the both frameworks (deep learning and SNNs) to develop a deep architecture of SNNs to achieve high performance of recently proved deep networks while implementing bio-inspired, power-efficient platforms. Additionally, As the brain process different stimuli patterns through multi-layer SNNs that are communicating by spike trains via adaptive synapses, developing artificial deep SNNs can also be very helpful for understudying the computations done by biological neural circuits. Having both computational and experimental backgrounds, we are interested in including a comprehensive summary of recent advances in developing deep SNNs that may assist computer scientists interested in developing more advanced and efficient networks and help experimentalists to frame new hypotheses for neural information processing in the brain using a more realistic model.
Various implementations of Deep Reinforcement Learning (RL) demonstrated excellent performance on tasks that can be solved by trained policy, but they are not without drawbacks. Deep RL suffers from high sensitivity to noisy and missing input and adversarial attacks. To mitigate these deficiencies of deep RL solutions, we suggest involving spiking neural networks (SNNs). Previous work has shown that standard Neural Networks trained using supervised learning for image classification can be converted to SNNs with negligible deterioration in performance. In this paper, we convert Q-Learning ReLU-Networks (ReLU-N) trained using reinforcement learning into SNN. We provide a proof of concept for the conversion of ReLU-N to SNN demonstrating improved robustness to occlusion and better generalization than the original ReLU-N. Moreover, we show promising initial results with converting full-scale Deep Q-networks to SNNs, paving the way for future research.
Deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have shown great potential for numerous real-world machine learning applications, but performing inference in large CNNs in real-time remains a challenge. We have previously demonstrated that traditional CNNs can be converted into deep spiking neural networks (SNNs), which exhibit similar accuracy while reducing both latency and computational load as a consequence of their data-driven, event-based style of computing. Here we provide a novel theory that explains why this conversion is successful, and derive from it several new tools to convert a larger and more powerful class of deep networks into SNNs. We identify the main sources of approximation errors in previous conversion methods, and propose simple mechanisms to fix these issues. Furthermore, we develop spiking implementations of common CNN operations such as max-pooling, softmax, and batch-normalization, which allow almost loss-less conversion of arbitrary CNN architectures into the spiking domain. Empirical evaluation of different network architectures on the MNIST and CIFAR10 benchmarks leads to the best SNN results reported to date.