Acceleration of MCMC-based algorithms using reconfigurable logic

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Title: Acceleration of MCMC-based algorithms using reconfigurable logic
Author(s): Liu, Shuanglong
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: Monte Carlo (MC) methods such as Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) have emerged as popular tools to sample from high dimensional probability distributions. Because these algorithms can draw samples effectively from arbitrary distributions in Bayesian inference problems, they have been widely used in a range of statistical applications. However, they are often too time consuming due to the prohibitive costly likelihood evaluations, thus they cannot be practically applied to complex models with large-scale datasets. Currently, the lack of sufficiently fast MCMC methods limits their applicability in many modern applications such as genetics and machine learning, and this situation is bound to get worse given the increasing adoption of big data in many fields. The objective of this dissertation is to develop, design and build efficient hardware architectures for MCMC-based algorithms on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), and thereby bring them closer to practical applications. The contributions of this work include: 1) Novel parallel FPGA architectures of the state-of-the-art resampling algorithms for SMC methods. The proposed architectures allow for parallel implementations and thus improve the processing speed. 2) A novel mixed precision MCMC algorithm, along with a tailored FPGA architecture. The proposed design allows for more parallelism and achieves low latency for a given set of hardware resources, while still guaranteeing unbiased estimates. 3) A new variant of subsampling MCMC method based on unequal probability sampling, along with a highly optimized FPGA architecture. The proposed method significantly reduces off-chip memory access and achieves high accuracy in estimates for a given time budget. This work has resulted in the development of hardware accelerators of MCMC and SMC for very large-scale Bayesian tasks by applying the above techniques. Notable speed improvements compared to the respective state-of-the-art CPU and GPU implementations have been achieved in this work.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Apr-2017
Date Awarded: Sep-2017
Advisor: Bouganis, Christos-Savvas
Sponsor/Funder: Imperial College London
Department: Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering PhD theses

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