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Automated framework for rapid simulations of high-detail brain models

Objective

Traditional methods of software modeling and simulation take prohibitive amounts of time to run for the size and complexity of biologically realistic neuron populations (e.g. >1 million). For instance, simulation of a 100 high-detail (Inferior-Olive) neuron-network for 10 minutes of brain time take 42 hours to complete on an modern PC workstation. To tackle this problem - common to the international neuroscience community -, we have turned to hardware-accelerated simulation platforms. We have employed award-winning, FPGA -based, dataflow machines provided by Maxeler Technologies, which offer high-performance computing capabilities and come with programming tools of unprecedented user friendliness. Our current Maxeler setups have offered impressive acceleration rates of more than 4 orders of magnitude (x10000). Despite the achieved speeds, however, we have found the Maxeler programming tools to be cumbersome to learn by neuromodelers with little hardware knowledge. Engineering personnel has, thus, been employed to assist them in (efficiently) translating and deploying their models. To streamline this process and bring a powerful tool directly to the hands of modelers, we propose BrainFrame, a novel system consisting of Maxeler hardware and a comprehensive software toolflow, effectively adding an abstraction level for neuromodelers to work on without specific knowledge of the underlying simulation platform. BrainFrame comprises a “one-stop shop”, integrated solution primarily targeting labs and companies active in the field of brain-modeling research and applications.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-PoC
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-POC - Proof of Concept Grant

Host institution

ERASMUS UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM ROTTERDAM
Address
Dr Molewaterplein 40
3015 GD Rotterdam
Netherlands
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 149 937

Beneficiaries (1)

ERASMUS UNIVERSITAIR MEDISCH CENTRUM ROTTERDAM
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 149 937
Address
Dr Molewaterplein 40
3015 GD Rotterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments