technical paper

AAAI 2024

February 25, 2024

Vancouver , Canada

An Efficient Knowledge Transfer Strategy for Spiking Neural Networks from Static to Event Domain


cognitive modeling & cognitive systems (cms)

cv: representation learning for vision

cv: applications

Spiking neural networks (SNNs) are rich in spatio-temporal dynamics and are suitable for processing event-based neuromorphic data. However, event-based datasets are usually less annotated than static datasets. This small data scale makes SNNs prone to overfitting and limits their performance. In order to improve the generalization ability of SNNs on event-based datasets, we use static images to assist SNN training on event data. In this paper, we first discuss the domain mismatch problem encountered when directly transferring networks trained on static datasets to event data. We argue that the inconsistency of feature distributions becomes a major factor hindering the effective transfer of knowledge from static images to event data. To address this problem, we propose solutions in terms of two aspects: feature distribution and training strategy. Firstly, we propose a knowledge transfer loss, which consists of domain alignment loss and spatio-temporal regularization. The domain alignment loss learns domain-invariant spatial features by reducing the marginal distribution distance between the static image and the event data. Spatio-temporal regularization provides dynamically learnable coefficients for domain alignment loss by using the output features of the event data at each time step as a regularization term. In addition, we propose a sliding training strategy, which gradually replaces static image inputs probabilistically with event data, resulting in a smoother and more stable training for the network. We validate our method on neuromorphic datasets, including N-Caltech101, CEP-DVS, and N-Omniglot. The experimental results show that our proposed method achieves better performance on all datasets compared to the current state-of-the-art methods. Code is available at


PaperTranscript English (automatic)

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