A memory efficient implementation scheme of Gauss error function in a Laguerre-Volterra network for neuroprosthetic devices

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Will X. Y. Li
  • Ke Cui
  • Wei Zhang

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Original languageEnglish
Article number044301
Journal / PublicationReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


Cognitive neural prosthesis is a manmade device which can be used to restore or compensate for lost human cognitive modalities. The generalized Laguerre-Volterra (GLV) network serves as a robust mathematical underpinning for the development of such prosthetic instrument. In this paper, a hardware implementation scheme of Gauss error function for the GLV network targeting reconfigurable platforms is reported. Numerical approximations are formulated which transform the computation of nonelementary function into combinational operations of elementary functions, and memory-intensive look-up table (LUT) based approaches can therefore be circumvented. The computational precision can be made adjustable with the utilization of an error compensation scheme, which is proposed based on the experimental observation of the mathematical characteristics of the error trajectory. The precision can be further customizable by exploiting the run-time characteristics of the reconfigurable system. Compared to the polynomial expansion based implementation scheme, the utilization of slice LUTs, occupied slices, and DSP48E1s on a Xilinx XC6VLX240T field-programmable gate array has decreased by 94.2%, 94.1%, and 90.0%, respectively. While compared to the look-up table based scheme, 1.0×1017 bits of storage can be spared under the maximum allowable error of 1.0×10−3. The proposed implementation scheme can be employed in the study of large-scale neural ensemble activity and in the design and development of neural prosthetic device.