Energy-Efficient Models for High-Dimensional Spike Train Classification using Sparse Spiking Neural Networks
Spike train classification is an important problem in many areas such as healthcare and mobile sensing, where each spike train is a high-dimensional time series of binary values. Conventional re- search on spike train classification mainly focus on developing Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) under resource-sufficient settings (e.g., on GPU servers). The neurons of the SNNs are usually densely connected in each layer. However, in many real-world applications, we often need to deploy the SNN models on resource-constrained platforms (e.g., mobile devices) to analyze high-dimensional spike train data. The high resource requirement of the densely-connected SNNs can make them hard to deploy on mobile devices. In this paper, we study the problem of energy-efficient SNNs with sparsely- connected neurons. We propose an SNN model with sparse spatio-temporal coding. Our solution is based on the re-parameterization of weights in an SNN and the application of sparsity regularization during optimization. We compare our work with the state-of-the-art SNNs and demonstrate that our sparse SNNs achieve significantly better computational efficiency on both neuromorphic and standard datasets with comparable classification accuracy. Furthermore, com- pared with densely-connected SNNs, we show that our method has a better capability of generalization on small-size datasets through extensive experiments.