GLIF: A Unified Gated Leaky Integrate-and-Fire Neuron for Spiking Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

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Xingting Yao, Fanrong Li, Zitao Mo, Jian Cheng


Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) have been studied over decades to incorporate their biological plausibility and leverage their promising energy efficiency. Throughout existing SNNs, the leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) model is commonly adopted to formulate the spiking neuron and evolves into numerous variants with different biological features. However, most LIF-based neurons support only single biological feature in different neuronal behaviors, limiting their expressiveness and neuronal dynamic diversity. In this paper, we propose GLIF, a unified spiking neuron, to fuse different bio-features in different neuronal behaviors, enlarging the representation space of spiking neurons. In GLIF, gating factors, which are exploited to determine the proportion of the fused bio-features, are learnable during training. Combining all learnable membrane-related parameters, our method can make spiking neurons different and constantly changing, thus increasing the heterogeneity and adaptivity of spiking neurons. Extensive experiments on a variety of datasets demonstrate that our method obtains superior performance compared with other SNNs by simply changing their neuronal formulations to GLIF. In particular, we train a spiking ResNet-19 with GLIF and achieve $77.35\%$ top-1 accuracy with six time steps on CIFAR-100, which has advanced the state-of-the-art. Codes are available at