Professor John P. Hayes at the Wilson Lecture Series - ECE Fall 2021 Colloquium
Computing with Randomness: The Stochastic Circuit Approach
Almost all modern computers are deterministic and exact; randomness plays no role in their operation. Yet randomness has advantages, as suggested by its widespread occurrence in nature, ranging from quantum mechanical systems to the human brain. Stochastic computing (SC) is an unconventional computing technique that processes data defined by pseudo-random bit-streams. It mimics aspects of the nervous system and enables complex numerical operations to be performed using extremely small, low-power, and error-tolerant circuitry. SC has applications in several areas such as image processing, complex coding techniques, and the design of artificial neural networks. However, achieving results of acceptable quality is difficult and SC tends to require very long bit-streams and run-times. This talk reviews the underlying concepts of SC and its applications and discusses some of our recent research results that focus on accuracy and latency.
Bio of professor John P. Hayes
John P. Hayes is professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he holds the Claude E. Shannon Chair of Engineering Science. He has a B.E. degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Ireland, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. Prior to joining Michigan, he was a faculty member at the University of Southern California. His research interests include computer-aided design and testing, computer architecture, and unconventional computing techniques. Hayes has authored seven books, including Computer Architecture and Organization (3rd ed., 1998), Quantum Circuit Simulation (2009), and Design, Analysis and Test of Logic Circuits under Uncertainty (2012). He has served as editor of various technical journals, including the Communications of the ACM and the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. He is a Fellow of IEEE and ACM.