Drexel Researchers Receive Top Honors at International Computing Conference

A team of researchers from Drexel University's Electrical and Computer Engineering department has been awarded the Best Paper Award at the 21st ACM International Conference on Computing Frontiers (CF'24), held in Ischia, Italy, last month. The conference is a leading platform for showcasing cutting-edge research that pushes the boundaries of computing.

The winning paper, co-authored by PhD student Ilknur Mustafazade; Naga Kandasamy, PhD , professor and department head; and Anup Das, PhD , associate professor, introduces a new approach to enhance the efficiency of brain-inspired computing systems, known as neuromorphic hardware. These systems aim to mimic the human brain's neural structure and offer an energy-efficient way to run advanced machine learning models.

The challenge lies in optimally mapping these models onto the neuromorphic hardware to ensure efficient use of resources and minimize communication between different parts of the system. Previous methods often overlooked the hardware's architecture when breaking down the models into smaller, more manageable parts.

Mustafazade, Kandasamy, and Das developed a novel technique that takes the hardware architecture into account during the process, guaranteeing that the resulting subnetworks can be effectively mapped onto the system. They created algorithms for two types of hardware configurations and tested their approach using both synthetic and real-world machine learning models.

The results show that their architecture-aware method significantly improves hardware utilization compared to existing techniques. The paper also explores how the structure of the machine learning model affects the solution's quality and proposes strategies for further enhancement.

This prestigious award highlights the groundbreaking research being carried out by Drexel University's Electrical and Computer Engineering department in the field of brain-inspired computing. As the need for energy-efficient artificial intelligence grows, innovations like those presented in this paper will be essential in shaping the future of computing technology.