Indirect training of a spiking neural network for flight control via spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity
Recently, spiking neural networks (SNNs) have been shown capable of approximating the dynamics of biological neuronal networks, and of being trainable by biologically-plausible learning mechanisms, such as spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. Numerical simulations also support the possibility that they may possess universal function approximation abilities. However the effectiveness of training algorithms to date is far inferior to those of other artificial neural networks. Moreover, they rely on directly manipulating the SNN weights, which may not be feasible in a number of their potential applications. This paper presents a novel indirect training approach to modulate spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) in an action SNN that serves as a flight controller without directly manipulating its weights. A critic SNN is directly trained with a reward-based Hebbian approach to send spike trains to the action SNN, which in turn controls the aircraft and learns via STDP. The approach is demonstrated by training the action SNN to act as a flight controller for stability augmentation. Its performance and dynamics are analyzed before and after training through numerical simulations and Poincaré maps.
Foderaro, G; Henriquez, C; Ferrari, S
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