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Title: Case-based reasoning and evolutionary computation techniques for FPGA programming
Author: Job, Dominic Edward
ISNI:       0000 0001 2435 9112
Awarding Body: Edinburgh Napier University
Current Institution: Edinburgh Napier University
Date of Award: 2001
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A problem in Software Reuse (SR) is to find a software component appropriate to a given requirement. At present this is done by manual browsing through large libraries which is very time consuming and therefore expensi ve. Further to this, if the component is not the same as, but similar to a requirement, the component must be adapted to meet the requirements. This browsing and adaptation requires a skilled user who can comprehend library entries and foresee their application. It is expensive to train users and to produce these documented libraries. The specialised software design domain, chosen in this thesis, is that of Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) programs. FPGAs are user programmable microchips that have many applications including encryption and control. This thesis is concerned with a specific technique for FGPA programming that uses Evolutionary Computing (EC) techniques to synthesize FPGA programs. Evolutionary Computing (EC) techniques are based on natural systems such as the life cycle of living organisms or the formation of crystalline structures. They can generate solutions to problems without the need for complete understanding of the problem. EC has been used to create software programs, and can be used as a knowledge-lean approach for generating libraries of software solutions. EC techniques produce solutions without documentation. To automate SR it has been shown that it is essential to understand the knowledge in the software library. In this thesis techniques for automatically documenting EC produced solutions are illustrated. It is also helpful to understand the principles at work in the reuse process. On examination of large collections of evolved programs it is shown that these programs contain reusable modules. Further to this, it is shown that by studying series of similar software components, principles of scale can be deduced. Case Based Reasoning (CBR) is a problem solving method that reuses old solutions to solve new problems and is an effective method of automatically reusing software libraries. These techniques enable automated creation, documentation and reuse of a software library. This thesis proposes that CBR is a feasible method for the reuse of EC designed FPGA programs. It is shown that EC synthesised FPGA programs can be documented, reused, and adapted to solve new problems, using automated CBR techniques.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science