Recurrent backpropagation and equilibrium propagation are supervised learning algorithms for fixed-point recurrent neural networks, which differ in their second phase. In the first phase, both algorithms converge to a fixed point that corresponds to the configuration where the prediction is made. In the second phase, equilibrium propagation relaxes to another nearby fixed point corresponding to smaller prediction error, whereas recurrent backpropagation uses a side network to compute error derivatives iteratively. In this work, we establish a close connection between these two algorithms. We show that at every moment in the second phase, the temporal derivatives of the neural activities in equilibrium propagation are equal to the error derivatives computed iteratively by recurrent backpropagation in the side network. This work shows that it is not required to have a side network for the computation of error derivatives and supports the hypothesis that in biological neural networks, temporal derivatives of neural activities may code for error signals.

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