Biologically Motivated Algorithms for Propagating Local Target Representations


  • Alexander G. Ororbia Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Ankur Mali Penn State University



Finding biologically plausible alternatives to back-propagation of errors is a fundamentally important challenge in artificial neural network research. In this paper, we propose a learning algorithm called error-driven Local Representation Alignment (LRA-E), which has strong connections to predictive coding, a theory that offers a mechanistic way of describing neurocomputational machinery. In addition, we propose an improved variant of Difference Target Propagation, another procedure that comes from the same family of algorithms as LRA-E. We compare our procedures to several other biologicallymotivated algorithms, including two feedback alignment algorithms and Equilibrium Propagation. In two benchmarks, we find that both of our proposed algorithms yield stable performance and strong generalization compared to other competing back-propagation alternatives when training deeper, highly nonlinear networks, with LRA-E performing the best overall.




How to Cite

Ororbia, A. G., & Mali, A. (2019). Biologically Motivated Algorithms for Propagating Local Target Representations. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 33(01), 4651-4658.



AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning