Google Research

Product Echo State Networks: Time-Series Computation with Multiplicative Neurons

  • Alireza Goudarzi
  • Alireza Shabani
  • Darko Stefanovic
The 2015 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN) (to appear)


Echo state networks (ESN), a type of reservoir computing (RC) architecture, are efficient and accurate artificial neural systems for time series processing and learning. An ESN consists of a core of recurrent neural networks, called a reservoir, with a small number of tunable parameters to generate a high-dimensional representation of an input, and a readout layer which is easily trained using regression to produce a desired output from the reservoir states. Certain computational tasks involve real-time calculation of high-order time correlations, which requires nonlinear transformation either in the reservoir or the readout layer. Traditional ESN employs a reservoir with sigmoid or tanh function neurons. In contrast, some types of biological neurons obey response curves that can be described as a product unit rather than a sum and threshold. Inspired by this class of neurons, we introduce a RC architecture with a reservoir of product nodes for time series computation. We find that the product RC shows many properties of standard ESN such as short-term memory and nonlinear capacity. On standard benchmarks for chaotic prediction tasks, the product RC maintains the performance of a standard nonlinear ESN while being more amenable to mathematical analysis. Our study provides evidence that such networks are powerful in highly nonlinear tasks owing to high-order statistics generated by the recurrent product node reservoir

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