Finite-size effects in neural networks

Carson Chow (October 2, 2012)

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The dynamics of neural networks have traditionally been analyzed for small systems or in the infinite size mean field limit. While both of these approaches have made great strides in understanding these systems, large but finite-sized networks have not been explored as much analytically. Here, I will show how the dynamical behavior of finite-sized systems can be inferred by expanding in the inverse system-size around the mean field solution. The approach can also be used to solve the inverse problem of inferring the effective dynamics of a single neuron embedded in a large network where only incomplete information is available. The formalism I will outline can be generalized to any high dimensional dynamical system.