GPGPU accelerated simulation and parameter tuning for neuromorphic applications

Kristofor D. Carlson, Michael Beyeler, Nikil Dutt, Jeffrey L. Krichmar Proc ASP-DAC


Neuromorphic engineering takes inspiration from biology to design brain-like systems that are extremely low-power, fault-tolerant, and capable of adaptation to complex environments. The design of these artificial nervous systems involves both the development of neuromorphic hardware devices and the development neuromorphic simulation tools. In this paper, we describe a simulation environment that can be used to design, construct, and run spiking neural networks (SNNs) quickly and efficiently using graphics processing units (GPUs). We then explain how the design of the simulation environment utilizes the parallel processing power of GPUs to simulate large-scale SNNs and describe recent modeling experiments performed using the simulator. Finally, we present an automated parameter tuning framework that utilizes the simulation environment and evolutionary algorithms to tune SNNs. We believe the simulation environment and associated parameter tuning framework presented here can accelerate the development of neuromorphic software and hardware applications by making the design, construction, and tuning of SNNs an easier task.