Online learning of long-range dependencies

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper


Nicolas Zucchet, Robert Meier, Simon Schug, Asier Mujika, Joao Sacramento


Online learning holds the promise of enabling efficient long-term credit assignment in recurrent neural networks. However, current algorithms fall short of offline backpropagation by either not being scalable or failing to learn long-range dependencies. Here we present a high-performance online learning algorithm that merely doubles the memory and computational requirements of a single inference pass. We achieve this by leveraging independent recurrent modules in multi-layer networks, an architectural motif that has recently been shown to be particularly powerful. Experiments on synthetic memory problems and on the challenging long-range arena benchmark suite reveal that our algorithm performs competitively, establishing a new standard for what can be achieved through online learning. This ability to learn long-range dependencies offers a new perspective on learning in the brain and opens a promising avenue in neuromorphic computing.