Conferences - Seminars

  Friday 27 January 2017 16:15 - 17:30 BC 420

CANCELLED : Project PHI: System Design for Pervasive Hierarchal Intelligence

By Hadi Esmaeilzadeh, Georgia Institute of Technology

This talk presents Project PHI (Pervasive Hierarchical Intelligence), a holistic effort to provide a comprehensive solution for making immersive machine intelligence a reality. 

Our guiding principle is to retain as much generality and automation while delivering large performance and efficiency gains through specialization and acceleration for a wide range of learning and intelligence workloads. As the first milestone of Project PHI, we have developed MlWeaver, which is open source and available at

This cross-stack solution—spanning from programming language to the hardware—rethinks the hardware/software abstraction by delving into the theory of machine learning. It leverages the insight that many learning algorithms can be solved using stochastic gradient descent that minimizes an objective function. The solver is fixed while the objective function changes with the learning algorithm. Therefore, MlWeaver uses stochastic optimization as the abstraction between hardware and software. Consequently, programmers specify the learning algorithm by merely expressing the gradient of the objective function in our domain specific language. MlWeaver then automatically generates the synthesizable implementation of the accelerator for scale-out FPGA realization using a set of template designs. Real hardware measurements show orders of magnitude higher performance and power efficiency while the programmer only writes 60 lines of code. These encouraging results show that rethinking the hardware/software abstractions from an algorithmic perspective can open new dimensions in system design for Pervasive Hierarchical Intelligence.

Organization Babak Falsafi

Contact Stéphanie Baillargues

Accessibility Informed public

Admittance Free