Google Research

Product Reservoir Computing: Time-Series Computation with Multiplicative Neurons

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


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 highdimensional 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 realtime 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 highorder statistics generated by the recurrent product node reservoir.

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