25 avenue des martyrs - Grenoble
Evolving functionality in nanomaterial networks
Wilfred G. van der Wiel (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Natural and man-made information processing systems differ greatly. Evolution has resulted in living systems that utilize whatever physical properties are exploitable to enhance the fitness for survival. Nature thereby exploits the emergent properties and massive parallelism of highly interconnected networks of locally active components. Man-made computers, however, are based on circuits of functional units, following rigid design rules. Hence, in conventional computational paradigms, potentially exploitable physical processes to solve a problem, are left out. We here propose evolution-in-materio, which mimics Darwinian evolution by manipulating physical systems using computer-controlled evolution, to take full advantage of the computational power of nanomaterials.
We have experimentally demonstrated that a designless network of gold nanoparticles acting as single-electron transistors, exhibits strongly non-linear behavior, which can be evolved into computational functionality. We have realized Boolean logic gates , and we plan to realize more advanced functionality such as pattern recognition. The viability of our approach is underlined by simulations based on both physical  and neural-network models .
1. S.K. Bose, C.P. Lawrence, Z. Liu, K.S. Makarenko, R.M.J. van Damme, H.J. Broersma and W.G. van der Wiel, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 1048 (2015).
2. R.M.J. van Damme, H.J. Broersma, J. Mikhal, C.P. Lawrence and W.G. van der Wiel, IEEE conference proceedings of the 2016 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2016).
3. K. Greff, R.M.J. van Damme, J. Koutník, H.J. Broersma, J. Mikhal, C.P. Lawrence, W.G. van der Wiel, and J. Schmidhuber, FUTURE COMPUTING 2016 : The Eighth International Conference on Future Computational Technologies and Applications, ISBN : 978-1-61208-461-9
Contact : Wilfred G. van der Wiel
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