Stochastic Sparse Learning with Momentum Adaptation for Imprecise Memristor Networks

Yaoyuan Wang, Shuang Wu, Ziyang Zhang, Lei Tian, Luping Shi

Memristor based neural networks have great potentials in on-chip neuromorphic computing systems due to the fast computation and low-energy consumption. However, the imprecise properties of existing memristor devices generally result in catastrophic failures for the network in-situ training, which significantly impedes their engineering applications. In this work, we design a novel learning scheme that integrates stochastic sparse updating with momentum adaption (SSM) to efficiently train the imprecise memristor networks with high classification accuracy. The SSM scheme consists of: (1) a stochastic and discrete learning method to make weight updates sparse; (2) a momentum based gradient algorithm to eliminate training noises and distill robust updates; (3) a network re-initialization method to mitigate the device-to-device variation; (4) an update compensation strategy to further stabilize the weight programming process. With the SSM scheme, experiments show that the classification accuracy on multilayer perceptron (MLP) and convolutional neural network (CNN) improves from 26.12% to 90.07% and from 65.98% to 92.38%, respectively. Meanwhile, the total numbers of weight updating pulses decrease 90% and 40% in MLP and CNN, respectively, and the convergence rates are both 3x faster. The SSM scheme provides a high-accuracy, low-power, and fast-convergence solution for the in-situ training of imprecise memristor networks, which is crucial to future neuromorphic intelligence systems.

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