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In Neural networks : the official journal of the International Neural Network Society ; h5-index 0.0

Stream data processing has lately gained momentum with the arrival of new Big Data scenarios and applications dealing with continuously produced information flows. Unfortunately, traditional machine learning algorithms are not prepared to tackle the specific challenges imposed by data stream processing, such as the need for learning incrementally, limited memory and processing time requirements, and adaptation to non-stationary data, among others. To face these paradigms, Spiking Neural Networks have emerged as one of the most promising stream learning techniques, with variants such as Evolving Spiking Neural Networks capable of efficiently addressing many of these challenges. Interestingly, these networks resort to a particular population encoding scheme - Gaussian Receptive Fields - to transform the incoming stimuli into temporal spikes. The study presented in this manuscript sheds light on the predictive potential of this encoding scheme, focusing on how it can be applied as a computationally lightweight, model-agnostic preprocessing step for data stream learning. We provide informed intuition to unveil under which circumstances the aforementioned population encoding method yields effective prediction gains in data stream classification with respect to the case where no preprocessing is performed. Results obtained for a variety of stream learning models and both synthetic and real stream datasets are discussed to empirically buttress the capability of Gaussian Receptive Fields to boost the predictive performance of stream learning methods, spanning further research towards extrapolating our findings to other machine learning problems.

Lobo Jesus L, Oregi Izaskun, Bifet Albert, Del Ser Javier


Evolving Spiking Neural Networks, Gaussian receptive fields, Population encoding, Stream learning