The Neurodynamics of Belief Propagation on Binary Markov Random Fields

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 19 (NIPS 2006)

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Thomas Ott, Ruedi Stoop


We rigorously establish a close relationship between message passing algorithms and models of neurodynamics by showing that the equations of a continuous Hop- (cid:2)eld network can be derived from the equations of belief propagation on a binary Markov random (cid:2)eld. As Hop(cid:2)eld networks are equipped with a Lyapunov func- tion, convergence is guaranteed. As a consequence, in the limit of many weak con- nections per neuron, Hop(cid:2)eld networks exactly implement a continuous-time vari- ant of belief propagation starting from message initialisations that prevent from running into convergence problems. Our results lead to a better understanding of the role of message passing algorithms in real biological neural networks.