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Title: Los Alamos works on a biologically realistic computer network

Brain neuroscientists and computer scientists call this field neuromimetic computing—building computers inspired by how the cerebral cortex of the brain works. Its cortical processes rely on billions more »of small biological “switches,” called neurons. To learn, they store and process information. Using an approach called neural networks, researchers are developing computers that simulate neurons and their interconnections. Then computers can learn about their surroundings, interpret data, and make predictions based on it. In practice, however, researchers attempting to simulate neural processing at anything close to the scale and complexity of the brain’s cortical circuits have been stymied by limitations on computer memory and computational power. All that has changed with the new Trinity supercomputer at Los Alamos, which became fully operational in mid-2017. Trinity has unique capabilities designed for the stockpile stewardship mission, which includes highly complex nuclear simulations that have replaced the testing of nuclear weapons. All this capability means Trinity allows a fundamentally different approach to large-scale cortical simulations, enabling an unprecedented leap in the ability to model neural processing. To test that capability on a limited-scale problem, computer scientists and neuroscientists at Los Alamos created a “sparse prediction machine” that runs on a neural network on Trinity. A sparse prediction machine is designed to work like the brain: researchers expose it to data—in this case, various videos of a car driving down a road—without labeling the data in any way. Then the program sorts through that data frame by frame, focuses on the important information, and develops a prediction about the car’s motion. With Trinity’s power, the Los Alamos team simulates the way a brain handles information in its neurons but uses the fewest neurons at any given moment to explain the information at hand. That’s the “sparse” part, and it makes the brain very efficient—and, hopefully, a computer more efficient, too.« less
Title: Los Alamos works on a biologically realistic computer network
Publication Date: 2017-10-30
OSTI Identifier: 1487142
Resource Type: Multimedia
Specific Type: video
Research Org: LANL (Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States))
Sponsoring Org: USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication: United States
Language: English
Run Time:
System Entry Date: 2018-12-19