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GLIF: A Unified Gated Leaky Integrate-and-Fire Neuron for Spiking Neural Networks

Xingting Yao · Fanrong Li · Zitao Mo · Jian Cheng

Keywords: [ spiking neural networks ] [ Unified Spiking Neuron ] [ Biological Features ] [ Leaky Integrate-and-Fire ]

Abstract: Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) have been studied over decades to incorporate their biological plausibility and leverage their promising energy efficiency. Throughout existing SNNs, the leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) model is commonly adopted to formulate the spiking neuron and evolves into numerous variants with different biological features. However, most LIF-based neurons support only single biological feature in different neuronal behaviors, limiting their expressiveness and neuronal dynamic diversity. In this paper, we propose GLIF, a unified spiking neuron, to fuse different bio-features in different neuronal behaviors, enlarging the representation space of spiking neurons. In GLIF, gating factors, which are exploited to determine the proportion of the fused bio-features, are learnable during training. Combining all learnable membrane-related parameters, our method can make spiking neurons different and constantly changing, thus increasing the heterogeneity and adaptivity of spiking neurons. Extensive experiments on a variety of datasets demonstrate that our method obtains superior performance compared with other SNNs by simply changing their neuronal formulations to GLIF. In particular, we train a spiking ResNet-19 with GLIF and achieve $77.35\%$ top-1 accuracy with six time steps on CIFAR-100, which has advanced the state-of-the-art. Codes are available at

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