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Title: The evolutionary design of digital VLSI hardware
Author: Thomson, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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In this thesis, multi-objective evolutionary algorithms are applied to the design of efficient digital ASIC core designs. Specifically, the thesis addresses the evolutionary synthesis of multiplierless linear filters, multiplierless linear transforms, and polynomial transform designs. The designs are constructed from high-level arithmetic components such as adders and subtracters, according to a user-supplied behavioural specification. The designs are evaluated according to three different objectives: functionality, low area requirements, and low longest-path delay. In order to evaluate these objectives, accurate hardware models are developed. Evolutionary algorithms are often applied to scheduling problems. This thesis investigates the possibility of performing scheduling and allocation in parallel with circuit evolution. Two possibilities are considered: scheduling for sequential operation and pipeline scheduling. The choice of solution representation and evolutionary operators can have an enormous impact on the performance of an evolutionary algorithm. In this thesis, solutions are represented with graphs. Graphs are found to be a powerful and intuitive representation for circuit designs, although the complexity of the evolutionary operators tends to be higher than with other encodings. Various graph evolutionary operators are developed, including a novel non-destructive graph crossover operator. This thesis also proposes a class of local search operators. These operators can significantly improve the performance of an EA. The improvement is achieved in two ways: by reducing the computational cost of evaluating a design, and by automatically finding optimal settings for some of the design parameters. These local search operators are initially applied to linear designs, and are later adapted for devices with polynomial responses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available