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Discrete event-based neural simulation using the SpiNNaker system

Brown, Andrew, Reeve, J.S., Dugan, K.J. and Furber, S.B. (2015) Discrete event-based neural simulation using the SpiNNaker system At Communicating Process Architectures 2015, United Kingdom. 23 - 26 Aug 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


SpiNNaker is a computing system composed of over a million ARM cores, embedded in a bespoke asynchronous communication fabric. The physical realization of the system consist of 57600 nodes (a node is a silicon die), each node containing 18 ARM cores and a routing engine. The communication infrastructure allows the cores to communicate via short, fixed-length (40- or 72-bit), hardware-brokered packets. The packets find their way through the network in a sequence of hops, and the specifics of each route are held (distributed) in the route engines, not unlike internet routing. On arrival at a target core, a hardware-triggered interrupt invokes code to handle the incoming packet. Within this computing model, the state of the system-under-simulation is distributed, held in memory local to the cores, and the topology is also distributed, held in the routing engine internal tables. The message passing is non-deterministic and non-transitive, there is no memory coherence between the core local memories, and there is no global synchronization. This paper shows how such a system can be used to simulate large systems of neurons using discrete event-based techniques. More notably, the solution time remains approximately constant with neural system size as long as sufficient hardware cores are available

Microsoft Word WOTUG15_v2.doc - Accepted Manuscript
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Published date: August 2015
Venue - Dates: Communicating Process Architectures 2015, United Kingdom, 2015-08-23 - 2015-08-26
Organisations: EEE


Local EPrints ID: 380987
PURE UUID: 2bc459ec-22c0-4016-b0a8-f8e150d5380f

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Date deposited: 28 Sep 2015 07:45
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:30

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Author: Andrew Brown
Author: J.S. Reeve
Author: K.J. Dugan
Author: S.B. Furber

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