Real-Time FPGA Simulation of Surrogate Models of Large Spiking Networks

ICANN, 2016

Murphy Berzish, Chris Eliasmith, Bryan Tripp


Models of neural systems often use idealized inputs and out- puts, but there is also much to learn by forcing a neural model to inter- act with a complex simulated or physical environment. Unfortunately, sophisticated interactions require models of large neural systems, which are difficult to run in real time. We have prototyped a system that can simulate efficient surrogate models of a wide range of neural circuits in real time, with a field programmable gate array (FPGA). The scale of the simulations is increased by avoiding simulation of individual neu- rons, and instead simulating approximations of the collective activity of groups of neurons. The system can approximate roughly a million spiking neurons in a wide range of configurations

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