Michael Hsiao plans to harness swarm intelligence based on the efficient behavior of ants.
Why would this matter?
Ant colonies are known for their efficiency in finding the best route to food sources. So Hsiao, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, and an expert in design verification has tackled one of the major problems facing electronics design in a novel way.
Virginia Tech engineer Michael Hsiao has developed mathematical formulas that simulate the methods used by the ants when they are seeking nourishment. Hsiao plans to use these algorithms to improve the accuracy in electronics design.
He has developed mathematical formulas that simulate the methods used by the ants when they are seeking nourishment.
Hsiao plans to use these algorithms to improve the accuracy in electronics design when one needs to validate and verify that the design meets the spec.
The National Science Foundation has awarded him a grant of $418,345 to continue exploring his ideas.
Hsiao explained that as electronics designers add more features and capabilities into ever-smaller electronics hardware, such as the latest versions of cell phones, they are increasing the difficulty of verifying that their designs perform as planned.
Verification difficulty grows exponentially as the design grows in size, according to Hsiao. “A poorly verified design compromises both the system’s reliability and its security,” he added.
In electronics design, the verification problems have grown so large that the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors has reported that “verification engineers significantly outnumber designers” on current projects, increasing costs significantly.
The challenge is in exploring an exponential-sized search space, which in the worst case involves searching all the possible states in the circuit. Since traditional, single perspective approaches are not keeping up with the growing complexity, Hsiao plans to apply intelligence from multiple perspectives at the same time.
His grant from the National Science Foundation will allow him to integrate a swarm intelligence strategy developed in his laboratory with multiple abstract models, parallel processing, and general-purpose graphics processing units (GPUs).
In large and complex search spaces, many of the conventional techniques often encounter tremendous difficulties, he said, “because either the small single abstract model is insufficient or the computational cost of formal/semi-formal learning becomes infeasible.”
The swarm-intelligent framework at the heart of Hsiao’s approach is based on long-term research he has conducted using algorithms that simulate the methods used by ant colonies to find the most efficient route to food sources.
This Ant Colony Optimization method involves employing an automatic stimuli generator on the design to create a database of possible vectors, which are then populated by a swarm of intelligent agents. Like real ants, these intelligent agents deposit a pheromone along their paths that attract other agents. The pheromone evaporates over time, resulting in a reinforcement of the most efficient pathways, allowing for the aggregation of knowledge gained from a large number of agents.
“In this regard, the proposed swarm-intelligent framework emphasizes the effective modeling and learning from collective effort by extracting the intelligence acquired during the search over multiple abstract models,” Hsiao said.
The simulation loops through multiple runs. The branches with the highest fitness values are removed so the system can focus on the rarely visited branches — an elegant way of finding and testing the “hard corners” that can be so hard to verify and validate in a design.
The computational efficiency of this approach “is a vast improvement over other methods, covering a far higher percentage of possible states in far less time.” Hsiao said.
This research should lead to a better understanding of the validation of large, complex designs and help cut the overall cost of the design process. “The success of this project not only will push the envelope on design validation, but will also offer new stimuli generation methods to related areas, such as post-silicon validation and validating trust of hardware,” Hsiao said.
Director of News
Lynn Nystrom | newswise
Neutrons pave the way to accelerated production of lithium-ion cells
20.03.2018 | Technische Universität München
Monocrystalline silicon thin film for cost-cutting solar cells with 10-times faster growth rate fabricated
16.03.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences