Dynamics of Winner-Take-All Competition in Recurrent Neural Networks With Lateral Inhibition
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks
This paper studies the behavior of recurrent neural networks with lateral inhibition. Such network architecture is important in biological neural systems. General conditions determining the existence, number, and stability of network equilibria are derived. The manner in which these features depend upon steepness of neuronal activation functions and the strength of lateral inhibition is demonstrated for a broad range of nondecreasing activation functions including the discontinuous threshold
... inuous threshold function which represents the infinite gain limit. For uniform lateral inhibitory networks, the lateral inhibition is shown to sharpen neuron output patterns by increasing separation of suprathreshold activity levels of competing neurons. This results in the tendency of one neuron's output to dominate those of the others which can afford a "winner-take-all" (WTA) mechanism. Importantly, multiple stable equilibria may exist and shifts in inputs levels may yield network state transitions that exhibit hysteresis. A limitation of using lateral inhibition to implement WTA is further demonstrated. The possible significance of these identified network dynamics to physiology and pathophysiology of the striatum (particularly in Parkinsonian rest tremor) is discussed. Index Terms-Discontinuous neuron activations, equilibrium, lateral inhibition, striatum, winner-take-all (WTA).