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In Frontiers in computational neuroscience

Functional microcircuits are useful for studying interactions among neural dynamics of neighboring neurons during cognition and emotion. A functional microcircuit is a group of neurons that are spatially close, and that exhibit synchronized neural activities. For computational analysis, functional microcircuits are represented by graphs, which pose special challenges when applied as input to machine learning algorithms. Graph embedding, which involves the conversion of graph data into low dimensional vector spaces, is a general method for addressing these challenges. In this paper, we discuss limitations of conventional graph embedding methods that make them ill-suited to the study of functional microcircuits. We then develop a novel graph embedding framework, called Weighted Graph Embedding with Vertex Identity Awareness (WGEVIA), that overcomes these limitations. Additionally, we introduce a dataset, called the five vertices dataset, that helps in assessing how well graph embedding methods are suited to functional microcircuit analysis. We demonstrate the utility of WGEVIA through extensive experiments involving real and simulated microcircuit data.

Wu Xiaomin, Bhattacharyya Shuvra S, Chen Rong


calcium imaging, graph embedding, machine learning, microcircuit analysis, neural decoding