Feedforward Initialization for Fast Inference of Deep Generative Networks is biologically plausible

6 Jun 2016  ·  Yoshua Bengio, Benjamin Scellier, Olexa Bilaniuk, Joao Sacramento, Walter Senn ·

We consider deep multi-layered generative models such as Boltzmann machines or Hopfield nets in which computation (which implements inference) is both recurrent and stochastic, but where the recurrence is not to model sequential structure, only to perform computation. We find conditions under which a simple feedforward computation is a very good initialization for inference, after the input units are clamped to observed values. It means that after the feedforward initialization, the recurrent network is very close to a fixed point of the network dynamics, where the energy gradient is 0. The main condition is that consecutive layers form a good auto-encoder, or more generally that different groups of inputs into the unit (in particular, bottom-up inputs on one hand, top-down inputs on the other hand) are consistent with each other, producing the same contribution into the total weighted sum of inputs. In biological terms, this would correspond to having each dendritic branch correctly predicting the aggregate input from all the dendritic branches, i.e., the soma potential. This is consistent with the prediction that the synaptic weights into dendritic branches such as those of the apical and basal dendrites of pyramidal cells are trained to minimize the prediction error made by the dendritic branch when the target is the somatic activity. Whereas previous work has shown how to achieve fast negative phase inference (when the model is unclamped) in a predictive recurrent model, this contribution helps to achieve fast positive phase inference (when the target output is clamped) in such recurrent neural models.

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