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The neural particle filter


Kutschireiter, Anna; Surace, Simone Carlo; Sprekeler, Henning; Pfister, Jean-Pascal (2016). The neural particle filter. arXiv: Quantitative Biology/Neurons and Cognition 1508.06818, Institute of Neuroinformatics.

Abstract

The robust estimation of dynamically changing features, such as the position of prey, is one of the hallmarks of perception. On an abstract, algorithmic level, nonlinear Bayesian filtering, i.e. the estimation of temporally changing signals based on the history of observations, provides a mathematical framework for dynamic perception in real time. Since the general, nonlinear filtering problem is analytically intractable, particle filters are considered among the most powerful approaches to approximating the solution numerically. Yet, these algorithms prevalently rely on importance weights, and thus it remains an unresolved question how the brain could implement such an inference strategy with a neuronal population. Here, we propose the Neural Particle Filter (NPF), a weight-less particle filter that can be interpreted as the neuronal dynamics of a recurrently connected neural network that receives feed-forward input from sensory neurons and represents the posterior probability distribution in terms of samples. Specifically, this algorithm bridges the gap between the computational task of online state estimation and an implementation that allows networks of neurons in the brain to perform nonlinear Bayesian filtering. The model captures not only the properties of temporal and multisensory integration according to Bayesian statistics, but also allows online learning with a maximum likelihood approach. With an example from multisensory integration, we demonstrate that the numerical performance of the model is adequate to account for both filtering and identification problems. Due to the weightless approach, our algorithm alleviates the 'curse of dimensionality' and thus outperforms conventional, weighted particle filters in higher dimensions for a limited number of particles.

Abstract

The robust estimation of dynamically changing features, such as the position of prey, is one of the hallmarks of perception. On an abstract, algorithmic level, nonlinear Bayesian filtering, i.e. the estimation of temporally changing signals based on the history of observations, provides a mathematical framework for dynamic perception in real time. Since the general, nonlinear filtering problem is analytically intractable, particle filters are considered among the most powerful approaches to approximating the solution numerically. Yet, these algorithms prevalently rely on importance weights, and thus it remains an unresolved question how the brain could implement such an inference strategy with a neuronal population. Here, we propose the Neural Particle Filter (NPF), a weight-less particle filter that can be interpreted as the neuronal dynamics of a recurrently connected neural network that receives feed-forward input from sensory neurons and represents the posterior probability distribution in terms of samples. Specifically, this algorithm bridges the gap between the computational task of online state estimation and an implementation that allows networks of neurons in the brain to perform nonlinear Bayesian filtering. The model captures not only the properties of temporal and multisensory integration according to Bayesian statistics, but also allows online learning with a maximum likelihood approach. With an example from multisensory integration, we demonstrate that the numerical performance of the model is adequate to account for both filtering and identification problems. Due to the weightless approach, our algorithm alleviates the 'curse of dimensionality' and thus outperforms conventional, weighted particle filters in higher dimensions for a limited number of particles.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:26 Jan 2017 11:48
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 22:41
Series Name:arXiv: Quantitative Biology/Neurons and Cognition
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://arxiv.org/abs/1508.06818

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