Quantum-inspired particle swarm optimization for feature selection and parameter optimization in evolving spiking neural networks for classification tasks
Introduction: Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) was introduced in 1995 by Russell Eberhart and James Kennedy (Eberhart & Kennedy, 1995). PSO is a biologically-inspired technique based around the study of collective behaviour in decentralized and self-organized animal society systems. The systems are typically made up from a population of candidates (particles) interacting with one another within their environment (swarm) to solve a given problem. Because of its efficiency and simplicity, PSO has been successfully applied as an optimizer in many applications such as function optimization, artificial neural network training, fuzzy system control. However, despite recent research and development, there is an opportunity to find the most effective methods for parameter optimization and feature selection tasks. This chapter deals with the problem of feature (variable) and parameter optimization for neural network models, utilising a proposed Quantum–inspired PSO (QiPSO) method. In this method the features of the model are represented probabilistically as a quantum bit (qubit) vector and the model parameter values as real numbers. The principles of quantum superposition and quantum probability are used to accelerate the search for an optimal set of features, that combined through co-evolution with a set of optimised parameter values, will result in a more accurate computational neural network model. The method has been applied to the problem of feature and parameter optimization in Evolving Spiking Neural Network (ESNN) for classification. A swarm of particles is used to find the most accurate classification model for a given classification task. The QiPSO will be integrated within ESNN where features and parameters are simultaneously and more efficiently optimized. A hybrid particle structure is required for the qubit and real number data types. In addition, an improved search strategy has been introduced to find the most relevant and eliminate the irrelevant features on a synthetic dataset. The method is tested on a benchmark classification problem. The proposed method results in the design of faster and more accurate neural network classification models than the ones optimised through the use of standard evolutionary optimization algorithms. This chapter is organized as follows. Section 2 introduces PSO with quantum information principles and an improved feature search strategy used later in the developed method. Section 3 is an overview of ESNN, while Section 4 gives details of the integrated structure and the experimental results. Finally, Section 5 concludes this chapter.