skip to main content

Title: 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.
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2008155 1931042 1909879
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10288865
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 27th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD ’21)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. 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 spatiotemporal 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.
  2. Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are currently being used as function approximators in many state-of-the-art Reinforcement Learning (RL) algorithms. Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) have been shown to drastically reduce the energy consumption of ANNs by encoding information in sparse temporal binary spike streams, hence emulating the communication mechanism of biological neurons. Due to their low energy consumption, SNNs are considered to be important candidates as co-processors to be implemented in mobile devices. In this work, the use of SNNs as stochastic policies is explored under an energy-efficient first-to-spike action rule, whereby the action taken by the RL agent is determined by the occurrence of the first spike among the output neurons. A policy gradient-based algorithm is derived considering a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) for spiking neurons. Experimental results demonstrate the capability of online trained SNNs as stochastic policies to gracefully trade energy consumption, as measured by the number of spikes, and control performance. Significant gains are shown as compared to the standard approach of converting an offline trained ANN into an SNN.
  3. Driven by the expanse of Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), there is an increasing demand to process streams of temporal data on embedded devices with limited energy and power resources. Among all potential solutions, neuromorphic computing with spiking neural networks (SNN) that mimic the behavior of brain, have recently been placed at the forefront. Encoding information into sparse and distributed spike events enables low-power implementations, and the complex spatial temporal dynamics of synapses and neurons enable SNNs to detect temporal pattern. However, most existing hardware SNN implementations use simplified neuron and synapse models ignoring synapse dynamic, which is critical for temporal pattern detection and other applications that require temporal dynamics. To adopt a more realistic synapse model in neuromorphic platform its significant computation overhead must be addressed. In this work, we propose an FPGA-based SNN with biologically realistic neuron and synapse for temporal information processing. An encoding scheme to convert continuous real-valued information into sparse spike events is presented. The event-driven implementation of synapse dynamic model and its hardware design that is optimized to exploit the sparsity are also presented. Finally, we train the SNN on various temporal pattern-learning tasks and evaluate its performance and efficiency asmore »compared to rate-based models and artificial neural networks on different embedded platforms. Experiments show that our work can achieve 10X speed up and 196X gains in energy efficiency compared with GPU.« less
  4. Spiking Neural Networks (SNN) are fast emerging as an alternative option to Deep Neural Networks (DNN). They are computationally more powerful and provide higher energy-efficiency than DNNs. While exciting at first glance, SNNs contain security-sensitive assets (e.g., neuron threshold voltage) and vulnerabilities (e.g., sensitivity of classification accuracy to neuron threshold voltage change) that can be exploited by the adversaries. We explore global fault injection attacks using external power supply and laser-induced local power glitches on SNN designed using common analog neurons to corrupt critical training parameters such as spike amplitude and neuron’s membrane threshold potential. We also analyze the impact of power-based attacks on the SNN for digit classification task and observe a worst-case classification accuracy degradation of −85.65%. We explore the impact of various design parameters of SNN (e.g., learning rate, spike trace decay constant, and number of neurons) and identify design choices for robust implementation of SNN. We recover classification accuracy degradation by 30–47% for a subset of power-based attacks by modifying SNN training parameters such as learning rate, trace decay constant, and neurons per layer. We also propose hardware-level defenses, e.g., a robust current driver design that is immune to power-oriented attacks, improved circuit sizing of neuronmore »components to reduce/recover the adversarial accuracy degradation at the cost of negligible area, and 25% power overhead. We also propose a dummy neuron-based detection of voltage fault injection at ∼1% power and area overhead each.« less
  5. High-quality 3D image recognition is an important component of many vision and robotics systems. However, the accurate processing of these images requires the use of compute-expensive 3D Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). To address this challenge, we propose the use of Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) that are generated from iso-architecture CNNs and trained with quantization-aware gradient descent to optimize their weights, membrane leak, and firing thresholds. During both training and inference, the analog pixel values of a 3D image are directly applied to the input layer of the SNN without the need to convert to a spike-train. This significantly reduces the training and inference latency and results in high degree of activation sparsity, which yields significant improvements in computational efficiency. However, this introduces energy-hungry digital multiplications in the first layer of our models, which we propose to mitigate using a processing-in-memory (PIM) architecture. To evaluate our proposal, we propose a 3D and a 3D/2D hybrid SNN-compatible convolutional architecture and choose hyperspectral imaging (HSI) as an application for 3D image recognition. We achieve overall test accuracy of 98.68, 99.50, and 97.95% with 5 time steps (inference latency) and 6-bit weight quantization on the Indian Pines, Pavia University, and Salinas Scene datasets, respectively.more »In particular, our models implemented using standard digital hardware achieved accuracies similar to state-of-the-art (SOTA) with ~560.6× and ~44.8× less average energy than an iso-architecture full-precision and 6-bit quantized CNN, respectively. Adopting the PIM architecture in the first layer, further improves the average energy, delay, and energy-delay-product (EDP) by 30, 7, and 38%, respectively.« less