PhD. Theses

Year: Supervisor: 
Student:  Title: 

Acceleration Methods for Evolutionary Design of Digital Circuits

Student:Vašíček Zdeněk, Ing.
Supervisor:Sekanina Lukáš, prof. Ing., Ph.D.
Department:Department of Computer Systems FIT BUT
digital circuit design, evolutionary optimization, evolutionary design, multiplier with constant coefficients, image filtering, nonlinear filter, optimization of combinational circuits, FPGA acceleration
Although many examples showing the merits of evolutionary design over conventional design techniques utilized in the field of digital circuits design have been published, the evolutionary approaches are usually hardly applicable in practice due to the various so-called scalability problems. The scalability problem represents a general problem that refers to a situation in which the evolutionary algorithm is able to provide a solution to a small problem instances only. For example, the scalability of evaluation of a candidate digital circuit represents a serious issue because the time needed to evaluate a candidate solution grows exponentially with the increasing number of primary inputs.

In this thesis, the scalability problem of evaluation of a candidate digital circuit is addressed. Three different approaches to overcoming this problem are proposed. Our goal is to demonstrate that the evolutionary design approach can produce interesting and human competitive solutions when the problem of scalability is reduced and thus a sufficient number of generations can be utilized.

In order to increase the performance of the evolutionary design of image filters, a domain specific FPGA-based accelerator has been designed. The evolutionary design of image filters is a kind of regression problem which requires to evaluate a large number of training vectors as well as generations in order to find a satisfactory solution. By means of the proposed FPGA accelerator, very efficient nonlinear image filters have been discovered. One of the discovered implementations of an impulse noise filter consisting of four evolutionary designed filters is protected by the Czech utility model.

A different approach has been introduced in the area of logic synthesis. A method combining formal verification techniques with evolutionary design that allows a significant acceleration of the fitness evaluation procedure was proposed. The proposed system can produce complex and simultaneously innovative designs, overcoming thus the major bottleneck of the evolutionary synthesis at gate level. The proposed method has been evaluated using a set of benchmark circuits and compared with conventional academia as well as commercial synthesis tools. In comparison with the conventional synthesis tools, the average improvement in terms of the number of gates provided by our system is approximately 25%.

Finally, the problem of the multiple constant multiplier design, which belongs to the class of problems where a candidate solution can be perfectly evaluated in a short time, has been investigated. We have demonstrated that there exists a class of circuits that can be evaluated efficiently if a domain knowledge is utilized (in this case the linearity of components).

ISO 690 Citation
VAŠÍČEK, Zdeněk. Acceleration Methods for Evolutionary Design of Digital Circuits. Brno, 2012. Available from: PhD. Thesis. Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Information Technology. 2012-05-31. Supervisor Sekanina Lukáš.
    author = {Zden{\v{e}}k Va{\v{s}}{\'{i}}{\v{c}}ek},
    title = {Acceleration Methods for Evolutionary Design of
	Digital Circuits},
    school = {Brno University of Technology,
		Faculty of Information Technology},
    year = {2012},
    location = {Brno, CZ},
    url = {}

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