288 pp. per issue
6 x 9, illustrated
2014 Impact factor:

Neural Computation

November 2011, Vol. 23, No. 11, Pages 2942-2973
(doi: 10.1162/NECO_a_00197)
© 2011 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dependency Reduction with Divisive Normalization: Justification and Effectiveness
Article PDF (1.03 MB)

Efficient coding transforms that reduce or remove statistical dependencies in natural sensory signals are important for both biology and engineering. In recent years, divisive normalization (DN) has been advocated as a simple and effective nonlinear efficient coding transform. In this work, we first elaborate on the theoretical justification for DN as an efficient coding transform. Specifically, we use the multivariate t model to represent several important statistical properties of natural sensory signals and show that DN approximates the optimal transforms that eliminate statistical dependencies in the multivariate t model. Second, we show that several forms of DN used in the literature are equivalent in their effects as efficient coding transforms. Third, we provide a quantitative evaluation of the overall dependency reduction performance of DN for both the multivariate t models and natural sensory signals. Finally, we find that statistical dependencies in the multivariate t model and natural sensory signals are increased by the DN transform with low-input dimensions. This implies that for DN to be an effective efficient coding transform, it has to pool over a sufficiently large number of inputs.