The "echo state" approach to analyzing and training recurrent neural networks

  • Herbert Jäger (Fraunhofer Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems AiS.INDY, Sankt Augustin)
A3 02 (Seminar room)


The talk introduces a constructive learning algorithm for the supervised training of recurrent neural networks, which is characterized by two properties: (1) a large "echo state" recurrent neural network is used as a "reservoir" of complex dynamics; this network is not changed by learning; (2) only the weights of connections from the echo state network are learnt. The basic mathematical idea is sketched, and a number of theoretical and application-oriented examples are given. The theoretical examples demonstrate a number of novel phenomena in recurrent networks; for instance, the training of short-term memories with large memory spans (100 time step delayed recalls are easily obtained), the training of infinite-duration memories (input-switchable multistate attractors), or the training of arbitrary periodic sequences (n-point attractor learning). The application-oriented examples mostly come from robotics and include the training of motor-controller modules and of event detectors for robots.