Exploring the Connection Between Binary and Spiking Neural Networks

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On-chip edge intelligence has necessitated the exploration of algorithmic techniques to reduce the compute requirements of current machine learning frameworks. This work aims to bridge the recent algorithmic progress in training Binary Neural Networks and Spiking Neural Networks—both of which are driven by the same motivation and yet synergies between the two have not been fully explored. We show that training Spiking Neural Networks in the extreme quantization regime results in near full precision accuracies on large-scale datasets like CIFAR-100 and ImageNet. An important implication of this work is that Binary Spiking Neural Networks can be enabled by “In-Memory” hardware accelerators catered for Binary Neural Networks without suffering any accuracy degradation due to binarization. We utilize standard training techniques for non-spiking networks to generate our spiking networks by conversion process and also perform an extensive empirical analysis and explore simple design-time and run-time optimization techniques for reducing inference latency of spiking networks (both for binary and full-precision models) by an order of magnitude over prior work. Our implementation source code and trained models are available at https://github.com/NeuroCompLab-psu/SNN-Conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number535
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jun 24 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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