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. 2013 Aug;44:6-21.
doi: 10.1016/j.neunet.2013.03.004. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Adaptive Training of Cortical Feature Maps for a Robot Sensorimotor Controller


Adaptive Training of Cortical Feature Maps for a Robot Sensorimotor Controller

Samantha V Adams et al. Neural Netw. .


This work investigates self-organising cortical feature maps (SOFMs) based upon the Kohonen Self-Organising Map (SOM) but implemented with spiking neural networks. In future work, the feature maps are intended as the basis for a sensorimotor controller for an autonomous humanoid robot. Traditional SOM methods require some modifications to be useful for autonomous robotic applications. Ideally the map training process should be self-regulating and not require predefined training files or the usual SOM parameter reduction schedules. It would also be desirable if the organised map had some flexibility to accommodate new information whilst preserving previous learnt patterns. Here methods are described which have been used to develop a cortical motor map training system which goes some way towards addressing these issues. The work is presented under the general term 'Adaptive Plasticity' and the main contribution is the development of a 'plasticity resource' (PR) which is modelled as a global parameter which expresses the rate of map development and is related directly to learning on the afferent (input) connections. The PR is used to control map training in place of a traditional learning rate parameter. In conjunction with the PR, random generation of inputs from a set of exemplar patterns is used rather than predefined datasets and enables maps to be trained without deciding in advance how much data is required. An added benefit of the PR is that, unlike a traditional learning rate, it can increase as well as decrease in response to the demands of the input and so allows the map to accommodate new information when the inputs are changed during training.

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