Purdue University Graduate School
MaryamParsa_PhD_Thesis-submitted_2.pdf (4.42 MB)

Bayesian-based Multi-Objective Hyperparameter Optimization for Accurate, Fast, and Efficient Neuromorphic System Designs

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posted on 2020-12-16, 15:24 authored by Maryam ParsaMaryam Parsa
Neuromorphic systems promise a novel alternative to the standard von-Neumann architectures that are computationally expensive for analyzing big data, and are not efficient for learning and inference. This novel generation of computing aims at ``mimicking" the human brain based on deploying neural networks on event-driven hardware architectures. A key bottleneck in designing such brain-inspired architectures is the complexity of co-optimizing the algorithm’s speed and accuracy along with the hardware’s performance and energy efficiency. This complexity stems from numerous intrinsic hyperparameters in both software and hardware that need to be optimized for an optimum design.

In this work, we present a versatile hierarchical pseudo agent-based multi-objective hyperparameter optimization approach for automatically tuning the hyperparameters of several training algorithms (such as traditional artificial neural networks (ANN), and evolutionary-based, binary, back-propagation-based, and conversion-based techniques in spiking neural networks (SNNs)) on digital and mixed-signal neural accelerators. By utilizing the proposed hyperparameter optimization approach we achieve improved performance over the previous state-of-the-art on those training algorithms and close some of the performance gaps that exist between SNNs and standard deep learning architectures.

We demonstrate >2% improvement in accuracy and more than 5X reduction in the training/inference time for a back-propagation-based SNN algorithm on the dynamic vision sensor (DVS) gesture dataset. In the case of ANN-SNN conversion-based techniques, we demonstrate 30% reduction in time-steps while surpassing the accuracy of state-of-the-art networks on an image classification dataset (CIFAR10) on a simpler and shallower architecture. Further, our analysis shows that in some cases even a seemingly minor change in hyperparameters may change the accuracy of these networks by 5‑6X. From the application perspective, we show that the optimum set of hyperparameters might drastically improve the performance (52% to 71% for Pole-Balance control application). In addition, we demonstrate resiliency of different input/output encoding, training neural network, or the underlying accelerator modules in a neuromorphic system to the changes of the hyperparameters.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Prof. Kaushik Roy

Additional Committee Member 2

Prof. Anand Raghunathan

Additional Committee Member 3

Prof. Vijay Raghunathan

Additional Committee Member 4

Prof. Saeed Mohammadi

Additional Committee Member 5

Dr. Catherine Schuman