EICIL: Joint Excitatory Inhibitory Cycle Iteration Learning for Deep Spiking Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Zihang Shao, Xuanye Fang, Yaxin Li, Chaoran Feng, Jiangrong Shen, Qi Xu


Spiking neural networks (SNNs) have undergone continuous development and extensive study for decades, leading to increased biological plausibility and optimal energy efficiency. However, traditional training methods for deep SNNs have some limitations, as they rely on strategies such as pre-training and fine-tuning, indirect coding and reconstruction, and approximate gradients. These strategies lack a complete training model and require gradient approximation. To overcome these limitations, we propose a novel learning method named Joint Excitatory Inhibitory Cycle Iteration learning for Deep Spiking Neural Networks (EICIL) that integrates both excitatory and inhibitory behaviors inspired by the signal transmission of biological neurons.By organically embedding these two behavior patterns into one framework, the proposed EICIL significantly improves the bio-mimicry and adaptability of spiking neuron models, as well as expands the representation space of spiking neurons. Extensive experiments based on EICIL and traditional learning methods demonstrate that EICIL outperforms traditional methods on various datasets, such as CIFAR10 and CIFAR100, revealing the crucial role of the learning approach that integrates both behaviors during training.