Exploiting Large Neuroimaging Datasets to Create Connectome-Constrained Approaches for more Robust, Efficient, and Adaptable Artificial Intelligence

Despite the progress in deep learning networks, efficient learning at the edge (enabling adaptable, low-complexity machine learning solutions) remains a critical need for defense and commercial applications. We envision a pipeline to utilize large neuroimaging datasets, including maps of the brain which capture neuron and synapse connectivity, to improve machine learning approaches. We have pursued different approaches within this pipeline structure. First, as a demonstration of data-driven discovery, the team has developed a technique for discovery of repeated subcircuits, or motifs. These were incorporated into a neural architecture search approach to evolve network architectures. Second, we have conducted analysis of the heading direction circuit in the fruit fly, which performs fusion of visual and angular velocity features, to explore augmenting existing computational models with new insight. Our team discovered a novel pattern of connectivity, implemented a new model, and demonstrated sensor fusion on a robotic platform. Third, the team analyzed circuitry for memory formation in the fruit fly connectome, enabling the design of a novel generative replay approach. Finally, the team has begun analysis of connectivity in mammalian cortex to explore potential improvements to transformer networks. These constraints increased network robustness on the most challenging examples in the CIFAR-10-C computer vision robustness benchmark task, while reducing learnable attention parameters by over an order of magnitude. Taken together, these results demonstrate multiple potential approaches to utilize insight from neural systems for developing robust and efficient machine learning techniques.

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