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Sparse Spiking Neural Network: Exploiting Heterogeneity in Timescales for Pruning Recurrent SNN

Biswadeep Chakraborty · Beomseok Kang · Harshit Kumar · Saibal Mukhopadhyay

Halle B #184
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Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


Recurrent Spiking Neural Networks (RSNNs) have emerged as a computationally efficient and brain-inspired machine learning model. The design of sparse RSNNs with fewer neurons and synapses helps reduce the computational complexity of RSNNs. Traditionally, sparse SNNs are obtained by first training a dense and complex SNN for a target task and, next, eliminating neurons with low activity (activity-based pruning) while maintaining task performance. In contrast, this paper presents a task-agnostic methodology for designing sparse RSNNs by pruning an untrained (arbitrarily initialized) large model. We introduce a novel Lyapunov Noise Pruning (LNP) algorithm that uses graph sparsification methods and utilizes Lyapunov exponents to design a stable sparse RSNN from an untrained RSNN. We show that the LNP can leverage diversity in neuronal timescales to design a sparse Heterogeneous RSNN (HRSNN). Further, we show that the same sparse HRSNN model can be trained for different tasks, such as image classification and time-series prediction. The experimental results show that, in spite of being task-agnostic, LNP increases computational efficiency (fewer neurons and synapses) and prediction performance of RSNNs compared to traditional activity-based pruning of trained dense models.

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