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Title: Stochastic Computing Architectures for Information Processing Systems
Authors: Τέμενος, Νικόλαος
Σωτηριάδης Παύλος-Πέτρος
Keywords: Stochastic Computing
Digital Circuits and Systems
Stochastic Finite-State Machine
Markov Chain
Issue Date: 13-Dec-2022
Abstract: Arithmetic operations on stochastic sequences is the basis of the unconventional computational approach known as Stochastic Computing (SC). Deviating from the standard binary arithmetic, SC encodes and processes the value of binary numbers in the form of stochastic sequences, making arithmetic operations and highly-complex functions realizable using a few simple standard logic gates and memory elements, having inherent natural robustness in soft-errors. SC’s properties and advantages have been exploited in a plethora of fields characterized by massive parallelism requirements like Neural Networks and Image Processing. Beyond its strong points, SC introduces an accuracy-latency trade-off impacting the energy efficiency. Therefore, achieving low latency along with increased computational accuracy is the primary design goal is SC systems. This dissertation presents novel SC architectures realizing essential arithmetic operations and nonlinear functions, as well as realistic Neural Networks and Image Processing applications based on them. In the first part of the dissertation, the operating principles of the architectures are introduced and their behavior is modeled based on Stochastic Finite-State Machines (SFSM) and analyzed using Markov Chains (MC). This leads to a deeper understanding of their stochastic dynamics and the verification of their proper operation. The MC modeling is further extended to a general methodology enabling the analytical derivation of the SFSMs. first and second moment statistical properties. The methodology is accompanied by overflow/underflow MC modeling, allowing to balance the accuracy-latency trade-off according to performance requirements, and to set the guidelines for the selection of the register’s size. In the second part of the dissertation, the proposed architectures are compared to existing ones, in the SC literature, in computational accuracy and hardware resources, including area, power and energy consumption as well as in terms of their advantages in the overall design flow. The efficacy of the architectures is demonstrated by using them as building blocks in the realization of several Digital Signal Processing (DSP) operations, including convolution, noise reduction and image down-sampling filters as well as Neural Networks. Finally, the results of the introduced architectures’ performance in computational accuracy and hardware resources are compared to those achieved using standard binary computing methods highlighting the advantages of the first ones.
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