Scalable Hardware Winner-Take-All Neural Network with DPLL

Masaki AZUMA  Hiroomi HIKAWA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E98-D   No.10   pp.1838-1846
Publication Date: 2015/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2014EDP7371
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Biocybernetics, Neurocomputing
Keyword: 
neural network,  winner-take-all,  supervised learning,  digital phase-locked loop,  hardware architecture,  

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Summary: 
Neural networks are widely used in various fields due to their superior learning abilities. This paper proposes a hardware winner-take-all neural network (WTANN) that employs a new winner-take-all (WTA) circuit with phase-modulated pulse signals and digital phase-locked loops (DPLLs). The system uses DPLL as a computing element, so all input values are expressed by phases of rectangular signals. The proposed WTA circuit employs a simple winner search circuit. The proposed WTANN architecture is described by very high speed integrated circuit (VHSIC) hardware description language (VHDL), and its feasibility was tested and verified through simulations and experiments. Conventional WTA takes a global winner search approach, in which vector distances are collected from all neurons and compared. In contrast, the WTA in the proposed system is carried out locally by a distributed winner search circuit among neurons. Therefore, no global communication channels with a wide bandwidth between the winner search module and each neuron are required. Furthermore, the proposed WTANN can easily extend the system scale, merely by increasing the number of neurons. The circuit size and speed were then evaluated by applying the VHDL description to a logic synthesis tool and experiments using a field programmable gate array (FPGA). Vector classifications with WTANN using two kinds of data sets, Iris and Wine, were carried out in VHDL simulations. The results revealed that the proposed WTANN achieved valid learning.