< ICIIS 2019
   

Tutorial

“Brain-inspired computing, neural control mechanisms and biomedical instrumentation with integrated electronics”


Date

In parallel with ICIIS 2019, 18-20 Dec 2019, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Resource person 1

Name

Dr Jayawan Wijekoon

Affiliation

Title of the talks

Brain-Inspired Computing Architectures in VLSI Systems

Content

Abstract: The primate brain is a complex, massively parallel architecture that contains approximately one hundred billion neurons, where each neuron is connected up to tens of thousands of other neurons. Among other difficulties, limitations in performing large scale neuron-level recordings on animals make it impossible to understand the underlying computational principles of the cortical networks based solely on the available recordings’ data. Therefore, there is an ongoing research effort to understand the principles of cortical information processing through simulating cortical networks in software, or taking it one step further, implementing brain-like circuits in electronic hardware. Biological network implementations on the microelectronic in real-time (or faster than real-time) provide emulation of networks in biological time scale (or faster than biological time), whereas software implementations take several hours or days to simulate a few seconds of biological time simulations of a relatively small cortical network and require power-hungry supercomputers, which occupy a large room. The concept of implementing brain-like functional circuits in hardware by mimicking neuro-biological architectures present in the nervous system is known as neuromorphic computing. This session discusses the efforts made in realising brain-like circuits in very large scale integration (VLSI) technologies and technological limitations and future direction of cognitive neuromorphic computing.

 

Biography

Dr Jayawan Wijekoon is a lecturer in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, the University of Manchester. He received the PhD and MPhil degrees from the University of Manchester in 2011 and 2007 respectively, where he worked as a postdoctoral researcher before becoming a lecturer in 2015. He received his MSc and BSc degrees from the University of Nottingham, UK and University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, in 2004 and 2002. His research interests include bio-inspired sensors and computing architecture for cognitive systems, low power wearable electronic solutions for medical applications and development of neural integrated microelectronic technologies. Most of his work involves engineering systems from end-to-end, starting from novel conceptual designs to physical devices that include building sensors/front-end, back-end embedded system, PC interfacing, and PC-end software. His past and present research collaborations include multi-disciplinary research groups from various academic institutions, hospitals, and companies from wearable and biomedical industries.

Resource person 2

Name Dr. Roshan Weerasekara

Affiliation

 

Title of the talks

Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) to monitor biological cell activity

Content

Abstract: Biological cells and tissues are routinely analysed for pathologies for clinical diagnostics as well as in life science research. The contemporary methods used for cell analysis rely on labour/time-intensive and inefficient methods for isolation of cells followed by expensive optical microscopy. Therefore, there is a need for advanced, automated non-invasive technologies that can reliably analyse cells/tissues in isolation or monitor cellular activities. The changes in electrical properties of cells and tissues have been proposed as an efficient way to monitor cells and the recent advances in semiconductor technology facilitates several complex measurements and data processing capabilities in a small portable device. In this tutorial we aim to present the concept of electrical impedance spectroscopy, and its applications specially to monitor electrical behaviour of biological cells in real-time and its related trends.

Biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering within the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics in UWE. Primary focus of my research is on the design and implementation of microelectronic circuits and systems targeted for wide-range of applications such as portable computing platforms, bio and environmental monitoring. At UWE, I work closely with the International Centre of Unconventional Computing and the Health Technology Hub (HTH). I am a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Member of the editorial board of the Elsevier Microelectronics Journal, and a Member of the technical program committee of a number of conferences.
Prior to joining UWE Bristol in May 2016, I was a Research Scientist at the A-STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME), the premier research organization in Singapore. At IME, I led public/industry consortium funded projects in the areas of 2.5D/3D IC packaging for mobile/network applications and Integrated Cancer Cell Analysis platforms.
I had also worked at Lancaster University, UK (from 2008 to 2011); and at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (from 1998 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2003). Both my PhD and MSc degrees are from KTH, Sweden and BScEng Degree is from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka .

Resource person 3

Name

Dr. Nalin Harischandra

Affiliation

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka

Title of the talks

Decoding the Mechanisms of Motor Control in Animals by Combining Neurobiology, Modeling and Robotics

Content

Abstract: Machine-like control of movement in animals and biophysically realistic maneuvering in life-like artefacts has fascinated and inspired scientists and engineers over the centuries. It has been argued that a thorough understanding of Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal systems that underlie movement generation and control can be achieved only by using computational modeling in parallel with physiological investigations. Therefore, researches use both the top-down and bottom-up approaches in an interdisciplinary environment. In this tutorial, we will discuss modeling approaches for understanding neural control mechanisms behind animal motor control, especially rhythmic movements during locomotion in quadrupeds, and antennal searching in insects. The neural controllers are proposed by exploiting the properties of Central Pattern Generators (CPGs), localized biological neural circuits responsible for generating stereotypical movements without rhythmic input. However, the activity of the CPG is constantly modulated by sensory inputs in order to generate adaptive movements depending on the varying environmental conditions. We will present couple of case studies where we use different animal models ranging from higher-vertebrates (Cat) to lower-vertebrates (Lamprey, Salamander) to invertebrates (Stick insect, Cricket). Depending on the study, we have developed CPGs at different abstraction levels. Our computational framework will shed new light on the available neuro-physiological data related to joint coordination. For roboticists, the identified control and learning algorithms can be used for designing efficient and adaptive controllers for bio-inspired and bio-hybrid systems.

 

Biography

Dr. Nalin Harischandra is a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Peradeniya (UOP), Sri Lanka. He received his Technical Licentiate and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science (Computational biology and Neuro-computing) from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden in 2008 and 2011 respectively. Before joining UOP in 2016, Dr. Harischandra was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Cybernetics and also affiliated with the Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) at the University of Bielefeld in Germany. He took part in two successfully completed EU-FP7 projects: EMICAB (Embodied Motion Intelligence for Cognitive, Autonomous Robots) and LAMPETRA (Life­like Artefacts for Motor­Postural Experiments and development of new control Technologies inspired by Rapid Animal locomotion).
His research interests include bioinspired robotics, neuro-mechanical simulations of motor control, dynamics of sensory motor integration, machine learning, signal processing and active sensing. He is a reviewer of several international journals and conferences including International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems (IJARS), and Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics (JCND).