Willshaw networks are single-layered neural networks that store associations between binary vectors. Using only binary weights, these networks can be implemented efficiently to store large numbers of patterns and allow for fault-tolerant recovery of those patterns from noisy cues. However, this is only the case when the involved codes are sparse and randomly generated. In this letter, we use a recently proposed approach that maps visual patterns into informative binary features. By doing so, we manage to transform MNIST handwritten digits into well-distributed codes that we then store in a Willshaw network in autoassociation. We perform experiments with both noisy and noiseless cues and verify a tenuous impact on the recovered pattern's relevant information. More specifically, we were able to perform retrieval after filling the memory to several factors of its number of units while preserving the information of the class to which the pattern belongs.

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