Kernel Memory Networks: A Unifying Framework for Memory Modeling

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Georgios Iatropoulos, Johanni Brea, Wulfram Gerstner


We consider the problem of training a neural network to store a set of patterns with maximal noise robustness. A solution, in terms of optimal weights and state update rules, is derived by training each individual neuron to perform either kernel classification or interpolation with a minimum weight norm. By applying this method to feed-forward and recurrent networks, we derive optimal models, termed kernel memory networks, that include, as special cases, many of the hetero- and auto-associative memory models that have been proposed over the past years, such as modern Hopfield networks and Kanerva's sparse distributed memory. We modify Kanerva's model and demonstrate a simple way to design a kernel memory network that can store an exponential number of continuous-valued patterns with a finite basin of attraction. The framework of kernel memory networks offers a simple and intuitive way to understand the storage capacity of previous memory models, and allows for new biological interpretations in terms of dendritic non-linearities and synaptic cross-talk.