Clustering in neural networks with heterogeneous and asymmetrical coupling strengths
The existence and stability of phase-clustered states have been studied previously in networks of weakly coupled oscillators with uniform coupling strengths [Physica D 63 (1993) 424]. However, several studies have shown that if the coupling is uniform and repulsive, it is hard to obtain stable phase-clustered states in networks of realistic neural oscillators when noise is present [Neural Comput. 7 (1995) 307; Phys. Rev. E 57 (1998) 2150]. This problem was avoided by introducing heterogeneity in the distribution of coupling strengths [J. Phys. Soc. Jpn. 72 (2003) 443]. It has been shown that heterogeneous coupling strengths make the occurrence of stable clustered states possible in small networks of repulsively coupled neural oscillators of all kinds [J. Comput. Neurosci. 14 (2003) 139; SIAM J. Appl. Math., submitted for publication]. The present work extends these results to large networks of /N identical neurons that are globally coupled with heterogeneous and asymmetrical coupling strengths. Conditions for the existence and stability of a state of /n synchronized clusters at evenly distributed phases, called the state of /n splay-phase clusters, are derived. Clusters of different sizes, i.e. containing different numbers of neurons, are studied. The existence of such a state is guaranteed if the strength of the coupling originating from one neuron to other neurons is inversely proportional to the size of the cluster to which it belongs. This condition is called the rule of inverse cluster-size. At the state of /n splay-phase clusters, the /N-neuron network behaves like a network of /n “big neurons”. Stability of this state is determined by /n eigenvalues of which only one determines the stability of intra-cluster phase differences. The remaining /n-1 conditions determine the stability of inter-cluster phase differences, but only n<SUB>h</SUB>=(n-mod(n,2))/2 of them have distinct real parts due to symmetry. Heterogeneous coupling makes the stability conditions depend on coupling strengths. This analysis not only reveals how clustered states occur in more general kinds of networks, but also illustrates how the stability of clustered states can be achieved in networks of repulsively coupled neural oscillators. Results on clustered states with phases that are not evenly distributed in the phase space are also presented. Potential applications of these results are discussed.