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Title: Deep visual learning with spike-timing dependent plasticity
Author: Liu, Daqi
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2017
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For most animal species, reliable and fast visual pattern recognition is vital for their survival. Ventral stream, a primary pathway within visual cortex, plays an important role in object representation and form recognition. It is a hierarchical system consisting of various visual areas, in which each visual area extracts different level of abstractions. It is known that the neurons within ventral stream use spikes to represent these abstractions. To increase the level of realism in a neural simulation, spiking neural network (SNN) is often used as the neural network model. From SNN point of view, the analog output values generated by traditional artificial neural network (ANN) can be considered as the average spiking firing rates. Unlike traditional ANN, SNN can not only use spiking rates but also specific spiking timing sequences to represent the structural information of the input visual stimuli, which greatly increases the distinguishability. To simulate the learning procedure of the ventral stream, various research questions need to be resolved. In most cases, traditional methods use winner-take-all strategy to distinguish different classes. However, such strategy works not well for overlapped classes within decision space. Moreover, neurons within ventral stream tends to recognize new input visual stimuli in a limited time window, which requires a fast learning procedure. Furthermore, within ventral stream, neurons receive continuous input visual stimuli and can only access local information during the learning procedure. However, most traditional methods use separated visual stimuli as the input and incorporate global information within the learning period. Finally, to verify the universality of the proposed SNN framework, it is necessary to investigate its classification performance for complex real world tasks such as video-based face disguise recognition. To address the above problems, a novel classification method inspired by the soft I winner-take-all strategy has been proposed firstly, in which each associated class will be assigned with a possibility and the input visual stimulus will be classified as the class with the highest possibility. Moreover, to achieve a fast learning procedure, a novel feed-forward SNN framework equipped with an unsupervised spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) learning rule has been proposed. Furthermore, an eventdriven continuous STDP (ECS) learning method has been proposed, in which two novel continuous input mechanisms have been used to generate a continuous input visual stimuli and a new event-driven STDP learning rule based on the local information has been applied within the training procedure. Finally, such methodologies have also been extended to the video-based disguise face recognition (VDFR) task in which human identities are recognized not just on a few images but the sequences of video stream showing facial muscle movements while speaking.
Supervisor: Yue, Shigang Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G400 Computer Science