Fast physical repetitive patterns generation for masking in time-delay reservoir computing
Scientific Reports 11, 6701 (2021)
Albeit the conceptual simplicity of hardware reservoir computing, the various implementation schemes that have been proposed so far still face versatile challenges. The conceptually simplest implementation uses a time delay approach, where one replaces the ensemble of nonlinear nodes with a unique nonlinear node connected to a delayed feedback loop. This simplification comes at a price in other parts of the implementation; repetitive temporal masking sequences are required to map the input information onto the diverse states of the time delay reservoir. These sequences are commonly introduced by arbitrary waveform generators which is an expensive approach when exploring ultra-fast processing speeds. Here we propose the physical generation of clock-free, sub-nanosecond repetitive patterns, with increased intra-pattern diversity and their use as masking sequences. To that end, we investigate numerically a semiconductor laser with a short optical feedback cavity, a well-studied dynamical system that provides a wide diversity of emitted signals. We focus on those operating conditions that lead to a periodic signal generation, with multiple harmonic frequency tones and sub-nanosecond limit cycle dynamics. By tuning the strength of the different frequency tones in the microwave domain, we access a variety of repetitive patterns and sample them in order to obtain the desired masking sequences. Eventually, we apply them in a time delay reservoir computing approach and test them in a nonlinear time-series prediction task. In a performance comparison with masking sequences that originate from random values, we find that only minor compromises are made while significantly reducing the instrumentation requirements of the time delay reservoir computing system.