MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators

M. Awais, M. Platzner, in: Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, 2021.

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Conference Paper | English
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Abstract
Approximate computing (AC) has acquired significant maturity in recent years as a promising approach to obtain energy and area-efficient hardware. Automated approximate accelerator synthesis involves a great deal of complexity on the size of design space which exponentially grows with the number of possible approximations. Design space exploration of approximate accelerator synthesis is usually targeted via heuristic-based search methods. The majority of existing frameworks prune a large part of the design space using a greedy-based approach to keep the problem tractable. Therefore, they result in inferior solutions since many potential solutions are neglected in the pruning process without the possibility of backtracking of removed approximate instances. In this paper, we address the aforementioned issue by adopting Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS), as an efficient stochastic learning-based search algorithm, in the context of automated synthesis of approximate accelerators. This enables the synthesis frameworks to deeply subsamples the design space of approximate accelerator synthesis toward most promising approximate instances based on the required performance goals, i.e., power consumption, area, or/and delay. We investigated the challenges of providing an efficient open-source framework that benefits analytical and search-based approximation techniques simultaneously to both speed up the synthesis runtime and improve the quality of obtained results. Besides, we studied the utilization of machine learning algorithms to improve the performance of several critical steps, i.e., accelerator quality testing, in the synthesis framework. The proposed framework can help the community to rapidly generate efficient approximate accelerators in a reasonable runtime.
Publishing Year
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI
Conference
IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI
Conference Location
Tampa, Florida USA (Virtual)
Conference Date
2021-07-07 – 2021-07-09
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Awais M, Platzner M. MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators. In: Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI. ; 2021.
Awais, M., & Platzner, M. (2021). MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators. In Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI. Tampa, Florida USA (Virtual).
@inproceedings{Awais_Platzner_2021, title={MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators}, booktitle={Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI}, author={Awais, Muhammad and Platzner, Marco}, year={2021} }
Awais, Muhammad, and Marco Platzner. “MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators.” In Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, 2021.
M. Awais and M. Platzner, “MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators,” in Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, Tampa, Florida USA (Virtual), 2021.
Awais, Muhammad, and Marco Platzner. “MCTS-Based Synthesis Towards Efficient Approximate Accelerators.” Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, 2021.

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