28 March 2005 Synthesis of blind source separation algorithms on reconfigurable FPGA platforms
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Recent advances in intelligence technology have boosted the development of micro- Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) including Sliver Fox, Shadow, and Scan Eagle for various surveillance and reconnaissance applications. These affordable and reusable devices have to fit a series of size, weight, and power constraints. Cameras used on such micro-UAVs are therefore mounted directly at a fixed angle without any motion-compensated gimbals. This mounting scheme has resulted in the so-called jitter effect in which jitter is defined as sub-pixel or small amplitude vibrations. The jitter blur caused by the jitter effect needs to be corrected before any other processing algorithms can be practically applied. Jitter restoration has been solved by various optimization techniques, including Wiener approximation, maximum a-posteriori probability (MAP), etc. However, these algorithms normally assume a spatial-invariant blur model that is not the case with jitter blur. Szu et al. developed a smart real-time algorithm based on auto-regression (AR) with its natural generalization of unsupervised artificial neural network (ANN) learning to achieve restoration accuracy at the sub-pixel level. This algorithm resembles the capability of the human visual system, in which an agreement between the pair of eyes indicates "signal", otherwise, the jitter noise. Using this non-statistical method, for each single pixel, a deterministic blind sources separation (BSS) process can then be carried out independently based on a deterministic minimum of the Helmholtz free energy with a generalization of Shannon's information theory applied to open dynamic systems. From a hardware implementation point of view, the process of jitter restoration of an image using Szu's algorithm can be optimized by pixel-based parallelization. In our previous work, a parallelly structured independent component analysis (ICA) algorithm has been implemented on both Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) using standard-height cells. ICA is an algorithm that can solve BSS problems by carrying out the all-order statistical, decorrelation-based transforms, in which an assumption that neighborhood pixels share the same but unknown mixing matrix A is made. In this paper, we continue our investigation on the design challenges of firmware approaches to smart algorithms. We think two levels of parallelization can be explored, including pixel-based parallelization and the parallelization of the restoration algorithm performed at each pixel. This paper focuses on the latter and we use ICA as an example to explain the design and implementation methods. It is well known that the capacity constraints of single FPGA have limited the implementation of many complex algorithms including ICA. Using the reconfigurability of FPGA, we show, in this paper, how to manipulate the FPGA-based system to provide extra computing power for the parallelized ICA algorithm with limited FPGA resources. The synthesis aiming at the pilchard re-configurable FPGA platform is reported. The pilchard board is embedded with single Xilinx VIRTEX 1000E FPGA and transfers data directly to CPU on the 64-bit memory bus at the maximum frequency of 133MHz. Both the feasibility performance evaluations and experimental results validate the effectiveness and practicality of this synthesis, which can be extended to the spatial-variant jitter restoration for micro-UAV deployment.
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Hongtao Du, Hairong Qi, Harold H. Szu, "Synthesis of blind source separation algorithms on reconfigurable FPGA platforms", Proc. SPIE 5818, Independent Component Analyses, Wavelets, Unsupervised Smart Sensors, and Neural Networks III, (28 March 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.604839; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.604839

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