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Representing and Decoding Rank Order Codes Using Polychronization in a Network of Spiking Neurons

Francesco Galluppi and Steve Furber


The introduction of axonal delays in networks of spiking neurons has enhanced the representational capabilities of neural networks, whilst also providing more biological realism. Approaches in neural coding such as rank order coding and polychronization have exploited the precise timing of action potential observed in real neurons. In a rank order code information is coded in the order of firing of a pool of neurons; on the other hand with polychronization it is the time of arrival of different spikes at the postsynaptic neuron which triggers different post-synaptic responses, with the axonal delays compensating for different timings in the afferents. In this paper we propose a model in which rank order coding is used to represent an arbitrary symbol, and a polychronous layer is used to decode, represent and recall that symbol. To prove that the polychronous layer is able to do this a detector neuron is trained with a supervised learning strategy and associated with a single code. According to this premise the detector neuron only fires on the appearance of the associated code, even in the presence of noise. Tests prove that rank order coding and polychronization can be coupled to code and decode information such as intensity or significance using timing information in spiking neural networks in an effective way.

IEEE Copyright