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Deep-Readout Random Recurrent Neural Networks for Real-World Temporal Data


Echo State Networks (ESN) are a class of recurrent neural networks that can learn to regress on or classify sequential data by keeping the recurrent component random and training only on a set of readout weights, which is of interest to the current edge computing and neuromorphic community. However, they have struggled to perform well with regression and classification tasks and therefore, could not compete in performance with traditional RNNs, such as LSTM and GRU networks. To address this limitation, we have developed a novel hybrid network, called Parallelized Deep Readout Echo State Network (PDR-ESN) that combines the deep learning readout with a fast random recurrent component, with multiple ESNs computing in parallel. We show the PDR-ESN architecture allows for different configurations of the sub-reservoirs, leading to different variants which we explore. Our findings suggest that different variants of the PDR-ESN offer various advantages in different task domains, with some performing better in regression and others in classification. In all cases, our PDR-ESN architecture outperforms the corresponding gradient-based LSTM and GRU architectures in terms of training time as well as accuracy. To further evaluate, we also compared against a Transformer encoder classifier, where the PDR-ESN outperformed on all tasks. We conclude that our proposed network demonstrates a good trade-off between the fast training times of traditional ESNs with the accuracy of deep backpropagation for real-world tasks. We hope that this architecture offers an alternative approach to sequential processing for edge computing as well as more biologically-realistic network development.

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This work was supported by NSF awards DGE-1632976, BCS 1824198 and OISE 2020624.

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Correspondence to Matthew Evanusa.

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This article is part of the topical collection Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods, guest edited by Ana Fred, Maria De Marsico and Gabriella Sanniti di Baja.

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Evanusa, M., Shrestha, S., Patil, V. et al. Deep-Readout Random Recurrent Neural Networks for Real-World Temporal Data. SN COMPUT. SCI. 3, 222 (2022).

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  • Recurrent neural network
  • Time series analysis
  • Reservoir computing
  • Deep learning
  • Hybrid neural networks