Asynchrony Increases Efficiency: Time Encoding of Videos and Low-Rank Signals
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
In event-based sensing, many sensors independently and asynchronously emit events when there is a change in their input. Event-based sensing can present significant improvements in power efficiency when compared to traditional sampling, because (1) the output is a stream of events where the important information lies in the timing of the events, and (2) the sensor can easily be controlled to output information only when interesting activity occurs at the input. Moreover, event-based sampling
... often provide better resolution than standard uniform sampling. Not only does this occur because individual event-based sensors have higher temporal resolution  , it also occurs because the asynchrony of events within a sensor and therefore across sensors allows for less redundant and more informative encoding. We would like to explain how such curious results come about. To do so, we use ideal time encoding machines as a proxy for event-based sensors. We explore time encoding of signals with low rank structure, and apply the resulting theory to video. We then see how the asynchronous firing across time encoding machines can couple spatial sampling density with temporal resolution, leading to better reconstruction, whereas, in frame-based video, temporal resolution depends solely on the frame-rate and spatial resolution solely on the pixel grid used.