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Recent advances in associative memory design through structured pattern sets and graph-based inference algorithms allow reliable learning and recall of exponential numbers of patterns. Though these designs correct external errors in recall, they assume neurons compute noiselessly, in contrast to highly variable neurons in hippocampus and olfactory cortex. Here we consider associative memories with noisy internal computations and analytically characterize performance. As long as internal noise is less than a specified threshold, error probability in the recall phase can be made exceedingly small. More surprisingly, we show internal noise actually improves performance of the recall phase. Computational experiments lend additional support to our theoretical analysis. This work suggests a functional benefit to noisy neurons in biological neuronal networks.
Noise-Enhanced Associative Memories A. Karbasi, A. H. Salavati, A. Shokrollahi, L. R. VarshneyIn Proc. Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2013IEEE Data Storage Best Student Paper Award
Bibtex Entry:
	Author = {Amin Karbasi and Amir Hesam Salavati and Amin Shokrollahi and Lav R. Varshney},
	Booktitle = {Proc. Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)},
	Title = {Noise-Enhanced Associative Memories},
	Year = {2013}}