Thibaud Taillefumier (University of Texas)

Replica-Mean-Field Limits for Intensity-Based Neural Networks

vendredi 17 janvier 2020, 9h30

Salle du conseil, espace Turing

Neural computations emerge from myriad neuronal interactions occurring in intricate spiking networks. Due to the inherent complexity of neural models, relating the spiking activity of a network to its structure requires simplifying assumptions, such as considering models in the thermodynamic mean-field limit. In the thermodynamic mean-field limit, an infinite number of neurons interact via vanishingly small interactions, thereby erasing the finite size of interactions. To better capture the finite-size effects of interactions, we propose to analyze the activity of neural networks in the replica-mean-field limit. Replica-mean-field models are made of infinitely many replicas which interact according to the same basic structure as that of the finite network of interest. Here, we analytically characterize the stationary dynamics of an intensity-based neural network with spiking reset and heterogeneous excitatory synapses in the replica-mean-field limit. Specifically, we functionally characterize the stationary dynamics of these limit networks via ordinary differential equations derived from the Poisson hypothesis of queuing theory. We then reduce this functional characterization to a system of self-consistency equations specifying the stationary neuronal firing rates. Of general applicability, our approach combines rate-conservation principles from point-process theory and analytical considerations from generating-function methods. We validate our approach by demonstrating numerically that replica-mean-field models better capture the dynamics of feedforward neural networks with large, sparse connections than their thermodynamic counterparts. Finally, we explain that improved performance by analyzing the neuronal rate-transfer functions, which saturate due to finite-size effects in the replica-mean-field limit.