The paper "EO-MTRNN: evolutionary optimization of hyperparameters for a neuro-inspired computational model of spatiotemporal learning" by Erhard Wieser and Gordon Cheng has been published in Biological Cybernetics.
For spatiotemporal learning with neural networks, hyperparameters are often set manually by a human expert. This is especially the case with multiple timescale networks that require a careful setting of the values of timescales in order to learn spatiotemporal data. However, this implies a cumbersome trial-and-error process until suitable parameters are found and it reduces the long-term autonomy of artificial agents, such as robots that are controlled by multiple timescale networks. To solve the problem, we propose the evolutionary optimized multiple timescale recurrent neural network (EO-MTRNN) that is inspired by the neural plasticity of the human cortex. Our proposed network uses a method of evolutionary optimization to adjust its timescales and to rewire itself in terms of number of neurons and synapses. Moreover, it does not require additional neural networks for pre- and postprocessing input–output data. We validate our EO-MTRNN by applying it to a proposed benchmark training dataset with single and multiple sequence training cases, as well as by applying it to sensory-motor data from a robot. We compare different configuration modes of the network, and we compare the learning performance between a network configuration with manually set hyperparameters and a configuration with automatically estimated hyperparameters. The results show that automatically estimated hyperparameters yield approximately 43% better performance than manually estimated ones, without overfitting the given teaching data. We also validate the generalization ability by successfully learning data that were not included in the hyperparameter estimation process.
The publication ca be downloaded here: https://rdcu.be/b25lK