Bidirectional Retrieval from Associative Memory

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10 (NIPS 1997)

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Friedrich Sommer, Günther Palm


Similarity based fault tolerant retrieval in neural associative mem(cid:173) ories (N AM) has not lead to wiedespread applications. A draw(cid:173) back of the efficient Willshaw model for sparse patterns [Ste61, WBLH69], is that the high asymptotic information capacity is of little practical use because of high cross talk noise arising in the retrieval for finite sizes. Here a new bidirectional iterative retrieval method for the Willshaw model is presented, called crosswise bidi(cid:173) rectional (CB) retrieval, providing enhanced performance. We dis(cid:173) cuss its asymptotic capacity limit, analyze the first step, and com(cid:173) pare it in experiments with the Willshaw model. Applying the very efficient CB memory model either in information retrieval systems or as a functional model for reciprocal cortico-cortical pathways requires more than robustness against random noise in the input: Our experiments show also the segmentation ability of CB-retrieval with addresses containing the superposition of pattens, provided even at high memory load.