Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)
Mehmet Muezzinoglu, Alexander Vergara, Ramon Huerta, Thomas Nowotny, Nikolai Rulkov, Henry Abarbanel, Allen Selverston, Mikhail Rabinovich
The odor transduction process has a large time constant and is susceptible to various types of noise. Therefore, the olfactory code at the sensor/receptor level is in general a slow and highly variable indicator of the input odor in both natural and artificial situations. Insects overcome this problem by using a neuronal device in their Antennal Lobe (AL), which transforms the identity code of olfactory receptors to a spatio-temporal code. This transformation improves the decision of the Mushroom Bodies (MBs), the subsequent classifier, in both speed and accuracy.Here we propose a rate model based on two intrinsic mechanisms in the insect AL, namely integration and inhibition. Then we present a MB classifier model that resembles the sparse and random structure of insect MB. A local Hebbian learning procedure governs the plasticity in the model. These formulations not only help to understand the signal conditioning and classification methods of insect olfactory systems, but also can be leveraged in synthetic problems. Among them, we consider here the discrimination of odor mixtures from pure odors. We show on a set of records from metal-oxide gas sensors that the cascade of these two new models facilitates fast and accurate discrimination of even highly imbalanced mixtures from pure odors.