Reservoir Computing Approach to Robust Computation Using Unreliable Nanoscale Networks (abstract)

As we approach the physical limits of CMOS technology, advances in materials science and nanotechnology are making available a variety of unconventional computing substrates that can potentially replace top-down-designed silicon-based computing devices. Inherent stochasticity in the fabrication process and nanometer scale of these substrates inevitably lead to design variations, defects, faults, and noise in the resulting devices. A key challenge is how to harness such devices to perform robust computation. We propose reservoir computing as a solution. In reservoir computing, computation takes place by translating the dynamics of an excited medium, called a reservoir, into a desired output. This approach eliminates the need for external control and redundancy, and the programming is done using a closed-form regression problem on the output, which also allows concurrent programming using a single device. Using a theoretical model, we show that both regular and irregular reservoirs are intrinsically robust to structural noise as they perform computation.