StreamBrain: Am HPC framework for Brain-like neural networks on CPUs, GPUs, and FPGAs


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The modern deep learning method based on backpropagation has surged in popularity and has been used in multiple domains and application areas. At the same time, there are other -- less-known -- machine learning algorithms with a mature and solid theoretical foundation whose performance remains unexplored. One such example is the brain-like Bayesian Confidence Propagation Neural Network (BCPNN). In this paper, we introduce StreamBrain-- a framework that allows neural networks based on BCPNN to be practically deployed in High-Performance Computing systems. StreamBrain is a domain-specific language (DSL), similar in concept to existing machine learning (ML) frameworks, and supports backends for CPUs, GPUs, and even FPGAs. We empirically demonstrate that StreamBrain can train the well-known ML benchmark dataset MNIST within seconds, and we are the first to demonstrate BCPNN on STL-10 size networks. We also show how StreamBrain can be used to train with custom floating-point formats and illustrate the impact of using different bfloat variations on BCPNN using the FPGA.

Kategorien: Veranstaltungen, Forschung

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