Biologically Inspired Dynamic Thresholds for Spiking Neural Networks

Jianchuan Ding, Bo Dong, Felix Heide, Yufei Ding, Yunduo Zhou, Baocai Yin, Xin Yang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


The dynamic membrane potential threshold, as one of the essential properties of a biological neuron, is a spontaneous regulation mechanism that maintains neuronal homeostasis, i.e., the constant overall spiking firing rate of a neuron. As such, the neuron firing rate is regulated by a dynamic spiking threshold, which has been extensively studied in biology. Existing work in the machine learning community does not employ bioinspired spiking threshold schemes. This work aims at bridging this gap by introducing a novel bioinspired dynamic energy-temporal threshold (BDETT) scheme for spiking neural networks (SNNs). The proposed BDETT scheme mirrors two bioplausible observations: a dynamic threshold has 1) a positive correlation with the average membrane potential and 2) a negative correlation with the preceding rate of depolarization. We validate the effectiveness of the proposed BDETT on robot obstacle avoidance and continuous control tasks under both normal conditions and various degraded conditions, including noisy observations, weights, and dynamic environments. We find that the BDETT outperforms existing static and heuristic threshold approaches by significant margins in all tested conditions, and we confirm that the proposed bioinspired dynamic threshold scheme offers homeostasis to SNNs in complex real-world tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 - 36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
EditorsS. Koyejo, S. Mohamed, A. Agarwal, D. Belgrave, K. Cho, A. Oh
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871088
StatePublished - 2022
Event36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Nov 28 2022Dec 9 2022

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Conference36th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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