A deep convolutional spiking neural network for embedded applications

Amirhossein Javanshir, Thanh Thi Nguyen, M. A. Parvez Mahmud, Abbas Z. Kouzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Deep neural networks (DNNs) have received a great deal of interest in solving everyday tasks in recent years. However, their computational and energy costs limit their use on mobile and edge devices. The neuromorphic computing approach called spiking neural networks (SNNs) represents a potential solution for bridging the gap between performance and computational expense. Despite the potential benefits of energy efficiency, the current SNNs are being used with datasets such as MNIST, Fashion-MNIST, and CIFAR10, limiting their applications compared to DNNs. Therefore, the applicability of SNNs to real-world applications, such as scene classification and forecasting epileptic seizures, must be demonstrated yet. This paper develops a deep convolutional spiking neural network (DCSNN) for embedded applications. We explore a convolutional architecture, Visual Geometry Group (VGG16), to implement deeper SNNs. To train a spiking model, we convert the pre-trained VGG16 into corresponding spiking equivalents with nearly comparable performance to the original one. The trained weights of VGG16 were then transferred to the equivalent SNN architecture while performing a proper weight–threshold balancing. The model is evaluated in two case studies: land use and land cover classification, and epileptic seizure detection. Experimental results show a classification accuracy of 94.88%, and seizure detection specificity of 99.45% and a sensitivity of 95.06%. It is confirmed that conversion-based training SNNs are promising, and the benefits of DNNs, such as solving complex and real-world problems, become available to SNNs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalProgress in Artificial Intelligence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2024


  • Epileptic seizure detection
  • Satellite image classification
  • Spiking neural network

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