stochasticnet: forming deep neural networks via stochastic connectivity

Mohammad Javad Shafiee, Parthipan Siva, Alexander Wong

Deep neural networks is a branch in machine learning that has seen a meteoric rise in popularity due to its powerful abilities to represent and model high-level abstractions in highly complex data. One area in deep neural networks that is ripe for exploration is neural connectivity formation. A pivotal study on the brain tissue of rats found that synaptic formation for specific functional connectivity in neocortical neural microcircuits can be surprisingly well modeled and predicted as a random formation. Motivated by this intriguing finding, we introduce the concept of StochasticNet, where deep neural networks are formed via stochastic connectivity between neurons. Such stochastic synaptic formations in a deep neural network architecture can potentially allow for efficient utilization of neurons for performing specific tasks. To evaluate the feasibility of such a deep neural network architecture, we train a StochasticNet using three image datasets. Experimental results show that a StochasticNet can be formed that provides comparable accuracy and reduced overfitting when compared to conventional deep neural networks with more than two times the number of neural connections.

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  • Added 2 years ago by Mohammad Javad Shafiee