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Particle-filtering approaches for nonlinear Bayesian decoding of neuronal spike trains


Kutschireiter, Anna; Pfister, Jean-Pascal (2018). Particle-filtering approaches for nonlinear Bayesian decoding of neuronal spike trains. ArXiv 1804.09739, Institute of Neuroinformatics.

Abstract

The number of neurons that can be simultaneously recorded doubles every seven years. This ever increasing number of recorded neurons opens up the possibility to address new questions and extract higher dimensional stimuli from the recordings. Modeling neural spike trains as point processes, this task of extracting dynamical signals from spike trains is commonly set in the context of nonlinear filtering theory. Particle filter methods relying on importance weights are generic algorithms that solve the filtering task numerically, but exhibit a serious drawback when the problem dimensionality is high: they are known to suffer from the 'curse of dimensionality' (COD), i.e. the number of particles required for a certain performance scales exponentially with the observable dimensions. Here, we first briefly review the theory on filtering with point process observations in continuous time. Based on this theory, we investigate both analytically and numerically the reason for the COD of weighted particle filtering approaches: Similarly to particle filtering with continuous-time observations, the COD with point-process observations is due to the decay of effective number of particles, an effect that is stronger when the number of observable dimensions increases. Given the success of unweighted particle filtering approaches in overcoming the COD for continuous- time observations, we introduce an unweighted particle filter for point-process observations, the spike-based Neural Particle Filter (sNPF), and show that it exhibits a similar favorable scaling as the number of dimensions grows. Further, we derive rules for the parameters of the sNPF from a maximum likelihood approach learning. We finally employ a simple decoding task to illustrate the capabilities of the sNPF and to highlight one possible future application of our inference and learning algorithm.

Abstract

The number of neurons that can be simultaneously recorded doubles every seven years. This ever increasing number of recorded neurons opens up the possibility to address new questions and extract higher dimensional stimuli from the recordings. Modeling neural spike trains as point processes, this task of extracting dynamical signals from spike trains is commonly set in the context of nonlinear filtering theory. Particle filter methods relying on importance weights are generic algorithms that solve the filtering task numerically, but exhibit a serious drawback when the problem dimensionality is high: they are known to suffer from the 'curse of dimensionality' (COD), i.e. the number of particles required for a certain performance scales exponentially with the observable dimensions. Here, we first briefly review the theory on filtering with point process observations in continuous time. Based on this theory, we investigate both analytically and numerically the reason for the COD of weighted particle filtering approaches: Similarly to particle filtering with continuous-time observations, the COD with point-process observations is due to the decay of effective number of particles, an effect that is stronger when the number of observable dimensions increases. Given the success of unweighted particle filtering approaches in overcoming the COD for continuous- time observations, we introduce an unweighted particle filter for point-process observations, the spike-based Neural Particle Filter (sNPF), and show that it exhibits a similar favorable scaling as the number of dimensions grows. Further, we derive rules for the parameters of the sNPF from a maximum likelihood approach learning. We finally employ a simple decoding task to illustrate the capabilities of the sNPF and to highlight one possible future application of our inference and learning algorithm.

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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:2018
Deposited On:12 Mar 2019 11:30
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:27
Publisher:Arxiv - Quantitative Biology
Series Name:ArXiv
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.09739

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