Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher.
Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?
Some links on this page may take you to nonfederal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

We continue our study from Lynch and MallmannTrenn (Neural Networks, 2021), of how concepts that have hierarchical structure might be represented in brainlike neural networks, how these representations might be used to recognize the concepts, and how these representations might be learned. In Lynch and MallmannTrenn (Neural Networks, 2021), we considered simple treestructured concepts and feedforward layered networks. Here we extend the model in two ways: we allow limited overlap between children of different concepts, and we allow networks to include feedback edges. For these more general cases, we describe and analyze algorithms for recognition and algorithms for learning.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2024

Task allocation is an important problem for robot swarms to solve, allowing agents to reduce task completion time by performing tasks in a distributed fashion. Existing task allocation algorithms often assume prior knowledge of task location and demand or fail to consider the effects of the geometric distribution of tasks on the completion time and communication cost of the algorithms. In this paper, we examine an environment where agents must explore and discover tasks with positive demand and successfully assign themselves to complete all such tasks. We first provide a new dis crete general model for modeling swarms. Operating within this theoretical framework, we propose two new task allocation algo rithms for initially unknown environments – one based on Nsite selection and the other on virtual pheromones. We analyze each algorithm separately and also evaluate the effectiveness of the two algorithms in dense vs. sparse task distributions. Compared to the Levy walk, which has been theorized to be optimal for foraging, our virtual pheromone inspired algorithm is much faster in sparse to medium task densities but is communication and agent intensive. Our site selection inspired algorithm also outperforms Levy walk in sparse task densities and is a less resourceintensive option than our virtual pheromone algorithm for this case. Because the perfor mance of both algorithms relative to random walk is dependent on task density, our results shed light on how task density is impor tant in choosing a task allocation algorithm in initially unknown environments.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2024

Decision making in natural settings requires efficient exploration to handle uncertainty. Since associations between actions and outcomes are uncertain, animals need to balance the explorations and exploitation to select the actions that lead to maximal rewards. The computa tional principles by which animal brains explore during decisionmaking are poorly understood. Our challenge here was to build a biologically plausible neural network that efficiently explores an environment and understands its effectiveness mathematically. One of the most evolutionarily conserved and important systems in decision making is basal ganglia (BG)1. In particular, the dopamine activities (DA) in BG is thought to represent reward prediction error (RPE) to facilitate reinforcement learning2. Therefore, our starting point is a corticoBG loop motif3. This network adjusts exploration based on neuronal noises and updates its value estimate through RPE. To account for the fact that animals adjust exploration based on experience, we modified the network in two ways. First, it is recently discovered that DA does not simply represent the scalar RPE value; rather it represents RPE in a distribution4. We incorporated the distributional RPE framework and further the hypothesis, allowing an RPE distribution to update the posterior of action values encoded by corticoBG connections. Second, it is known that the firing in the layer 2/3 of cortex fires is variable and sparse5. Our network thus included a random sparsification of cortical activity as a mechanism of sampling from this posterior for experiencebased exploration. Combining these two features, our network is able to take the uncertainty of our value estimates into account to accomplish efficient exploration in a variety of environments.more » « lessFree, publiclyaccessible full text available January 1, 2024

The house hunting behavior of the Temnothorax albipennis ant allows the colony to explore several nest choices and agree on the best one. Their behavior serves as the basis for many bioinspired swarm models to solve the same problem. However, many of the existing site selection models in both insect colony and swarm literature test the model’s accuracy and decision time only on setups where all potential site choices are equidistant from the swarm’s starting location. These models do not account for the geographic challenges that result from site choices with different geometry. For example, although actual ant colonies are capable of consistently choosing a higher quality, further site instead of a lower quality, closer site, existing models are much less accurate in this scenario. Existing models are also more prone to committing to a low quality site if it is on the path between the agents’ starting site and a higher quality site. We present a new model for the site selection problem and verify via simulation that is able to better handle these geographic challenges. Our results provide insight into the types of challenges site selection models face when distance is taken into account. Our work will allow swarms to be robust to more realistic situations where sites could be distributed in the environment in many different ways.more » « less

We present a formal, mathematical foundation for modeling and reasoning about the behavior of synchronous, stochastic Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs), which have been widely used in studies of neural computation. Our approach follows paradigms established in the field of concurrency theory. Our SNN model is based on directed graphs of neurons, classified as input, output, and internal neurons. We focus here on basic SNNs, in which a neuron’s only state is a Boolean value indicating whether or not the neuron is currently firing. We also define the external behavior of an SNN, in terms of probability distributions on its external firing patterns. We define two operators on SNNs: a composition operator, which supports modeling of SNNs as combinations of smaller SNNs, and a hiding operator, which reclassifies some output behavior of an SNN as internal. We prove results showing how the external behavior of a network built using these operators is related to the external behavior of its component networks. Finally, we definition the notion of a problem to be solved by an SNN, and show how the composition and hiding operators affect the problems that are solved by the networks. We illustrate our definitions with three examples: a Boolean circuit constructed from gates, an Attention network constructed from a WinnerTakeAll network and a Filter network, and a toy example involving combining two networks in a cyclic fashion.more » « less

The house hunting behavior of the Temnothorax albipennis ant allows the colony to explore several nest choices and agree on the best one. Their behavior serves as the basis for many bioinspired swarm models to solve the same problem. However, many of the existing site selection models in both insect colony and swarm literature test the model’s accuracy and decision time only on setups where all potential site choices are equidistant from the swarm’s starting location. These models do not account for the geographic challenges that result from site choices with different geometry. For example, although actual ant colonies are capable of consistently choosing a higher quality, further site instead of a lower quality, closer site, existing models are much less accurate in this scenario. Existing models are also more prone to committing to a low quality site if it is on the path between the agents’ starting site and a higher quality site. We present a new model for the site selection problem and verify via simulation that is able to better handle these geographic challenges. Our results provide insight into the types of challenges site selection models face when distance is taken into account. Our work will allow swarms to be robust to more realistic situations where sites could be distributed in the environment in many different ways.more » « less

Emulating a shared atomic, read/write storage system is a fundamental problem in distributed computing. Replicating atomic objects among a set of data hosts was the norm for traditional implementations (e.g., [ 11]) in order to guarantee the availability and accessibility of the data despite host failures. As replication is highly storage demanding, recent approaches suggested the use of erasurecodes to offer the same faulttolerance while optimizing storage usage at the hosts. Initial works focused on a fix set of data hosts. To guarantee longevity and scalability, a storage service should be able to dynamically mask hosts failures by allowing new hosts to join, and failed host to be removed without service interruptions. This work presents the first erasurecode based atomic algorithm, called ARES, which allows the set of hosts to be modified in the course of an execution. ARES is composed of three main components: (i) a reconfiguration protocol, (ii) a read/write protocol, and (iii) a set of data access primitives. The design of ARES is modular and is such to accommodate the usage of various erasurecode parameters on a perconfiguration basis. We provide bounds on the latency of read/write operations, and analyze the storage and communication costs of the ARES algorithm.more » « less

Neuromorphic computing would benefit from the utilization of improved customized hardware. However, the translation of neuromorphic algorithms to hardware is not easily accomplished. In particular, building superconducting neuromorphic systems requires expertise in both supercon ducting physics and theoretical neuroscience, which makes such design particularly challenging. In this work, we aim to bridge this gap by presenting a tool and methodology to translate algorith mic parameters into circuit specifications. We first show the correspondence between theoretical neuroscience models and the dynamics of our circuit topologies. We then apply this tool to solve a linear system and implement Boolean logic gates by creating spiking neural networks with our superconducting nanowirebased hardware.more » « less

Neuromorphic computing would benefit from the utilization of improved customized hardware. However, the translation of neuromorphic algorithms to hardware is not easily accomplished. In particular, building superconducting neuromorphic systems requires expertise in both superconducting physics and theoretical neuroscience, which makes such design particularly challenging. In this work, we aim to bridge this gap by presenting a tool and methodology to translate algorithmic parameters into circuit specifications. We first show the correspondence between theoretical neuroscience models and the dynamics of our circuit topologies. We then apply this tool to solve a linear system and implement Boolean logic gates by creating spiking neural networks with our superconducting nanowirebased hardware.more » « less

We use a recently developed synchronous Spiking Neural Network (SNN) model to study the problem of learning hierarchicallystructured concepts. We introduce an abstract data model that describes simple hierarchical concepts. We define a feedforward layered SNN model, with learning modeled using Oja’s local learning rule, a well known biologicallyplausible rule for adjusting synapse weights. We define what it means for such a network to recognize hierarchical concepts; our notion of recognition is robust, in that it tolerates a bounded amount of noise. Then, we present a learning algorithm by which a layered network may learn to recognize hierarchical concepts according to our robust definition. We an alyze correctness and performance rigorously; the amount of time required to learn each concept, after learning all of the subconcepts, is approximately O( 1ηk(`max log(k) + 1ε) + b log(k)), where k is the number of subconcepts per concept, `max is the maximum hierarchical depth, η is the learning rate, ε describes the amount of uncertainty allowed in robust recognition, and b describes the amount of weight decrease for "irrelevant" edges. An interesting feature of this algorithm is that it allows the network to learn subconcepts in a highly interleaved manner. This algorithm assumes that the concepts are presented in a noisefree way; we also extend these results to accommodate noise in the learning process. Finally, we give a simple lower bound saying that, in order to recognize concepts with hierarchical depth two with noisetolerance, a neural network should have at least two layers. The results in this paper represent first steps in the theoretical study of hierarchical concepts using SNNs. The cases studied here are basic, but they suggest many directions for extensions to more elaborate and realistic casesmore » « less