Efficient Deep Spiking Multi-Layer Perceptrons with Multiplication-Free Inference

by   Boyan Li, et al.

Advancements in adapting deep convolution architectures for Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) have significantly enhanced image classification performance and reduced computational burdens. However, the inability of Multiplication-Free Inference (MFI) to harmonize with attention and transformer mechanisms, which are critical to superior performance on high-resolution vision tasks, imposes limitations on these gains. To address this, our research explores a new pathway, drawing inspiration from the progress made in Multi-Layer Perceptrons (MLPs). We propose an innovative spiking MLP architecture that uses batch normalization to retain MFI compatibility and introduces a spiking patch encoding layer to reinforce local feature extraction capabilities. As a result, we establish an efficient multi-stage spiking MLP network that effectively blends global receptive fields with local feature extraction for comprehensive spike-based computation. Without relying on pre-training or sophisticated SNN training techniques, our network secures a top-1 accuracy of 66.39 trained spiking ResNet-34 by 2.67 costs, model capacity, and simulation steps. An expanded version of our network challenges the performance of the spiking VGG-16 network with a 71.64 accuracy, all while operating with a model capacity 2.1 times smaller. Our findings accentuate the potential of our deep SNN architecture in seamlessly integrating global and local learning abilities. Interestingly, the trained receptive field in our network mirrors the activity patterns of cortical cells.


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