Performance Comparison of the Digital Neuromorphic Hardware SpiNNaker and the Neural Network Simulation Software NEST for a Full-Scale Cortical Microcircuit Model
Journal: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Publication Date: 23 May, 2018
School of: Computer Science
A breakthrough in modelling biological neural circuits on a brain-inspired computer system.
The first full-scale simulations of 1mm2 of cortex on both SpiNNaker (a neuromorphic – brain-inspired) platform and a high-performance computer are shown to produce equivalent results, the first time a biological model of this scale and detail has been demonstrated on a neuromorphic system. The model comprises 80,000 neurons and 300 million synapses, with biologically realistic degrees of local connectivity between neurons. This collaboration between researchers at the University of Manchester and at the Jülich Supercomputer Centre in Germany, under the auspices of the EU Flagship Human Brain Project, paves the way for the modelling of much larger cortical circuits in the future, and has given a clear indication of areas of the SpiNNaker software stack that will require attention in order to deliver the efficient modelling of such circuits in biological real time.
- The human brain comprises just under 100 billion neurons
- The cortex is the outer layer of the brain, and is considered to be responsible for many of the higher-level capabilities of the mammalian brain.
- SpiNNaker is a digital many-core neuromorphic platform, where the brain-like aspect is the unique interconnect fabric that enables the very high level of connectivity found in the brain to be modelled.
- Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-6), Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS-6), JARA Institute Brain Structure-Function Relationships (INM-10), Jülich Research Centre, Jülich, Germany
- Laboratory for Neural Circuit Theory, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Wako, Japan
- Department of Physics, Faculty 1, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany
- Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany