Long Sequence Hopfield Memory

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

Bibtex Paper


Hamza Chaudhry, Jacob Zavatone-Veth, Dmitry Krotov, Cengiz Pehlevan


Sequence memory is an essential attribute of natural and artificial intelligence that enables agents to encode, store, and retrieve complex sequences of stimuli and actions. Computational models of sequence memory have been proposed where recurrent Hopfield-like neural networks are trained with temporally asymmetric Hebbian rules. However, these networks suffer from limited sequence capacity (maximal length of the stored sequence) due to interference between the memories. Inspired by recent work on Dense Associative Memories, we expand the sequence capacity of these models by introducing a nonlinear interaction term, enhancing separation between the patterns. We derive novel scaling laws for sequence capacity with respect to network size, significantly outperforming existing scaling laws for models based on traditional Hopfield networks, and verify these theoretical results with numerical simulation. Moreover, we introduce a generalized pseudoinverse rule to recall sequences of highly correlated patterns. Finally, we extend this model to store sequences with variable timing between states' transitions and describe a biologically-plausible implementation, with connections to motor neuroscience.