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Analog-symbolic memory that tracks via reconsolidation

Abstract
A fundamental part of a computational system is its memory, which is used to store and retrieve data. Classical computer memories rely on the static approach and are very different from human memories. Neural network memories are based on auto-associative attractor dynamics and thus provide a high level of pattern completion. However, they are not used in general computation since there are practically no algorithms to load an arbitrary landscape of attractors into them. In this sense neural network memory models cannot communicate well with symbolic and prior knowledge. We propose the design of a new memory based on localist attractor dynamics with reconsolidation called Reconsolidation Attractor Network (RAN). RAN combines symbolic and subsymbolic features in a very attractive way: it is based on attractors; enables pattern classification under missing data; and demonstrates dynamic reconsolidation, which is very useful for tracking changing concepts. The perception RAN enables is somewhat reminiscent of human perception due to its context sensitivity. Furthermore, it enables an immediate and clear interface with symbolic memories, including loading of attractors by means of trivial wiring, updating attractors, and retrieving them faster without waiting for full convergence. It also scales to any number of concepts. This provides a useful counterpoint to more conventional memory systems, such as random access memory and auto-associative neural networks.
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2008-01-01
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