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Sergio Davies

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Research associate
Room number: IT-302
Email: sergio.davies @at@
Other contact details

I am a research associate at the School Of Computer Science at the University of Manchester, UK. I have been with the APT Group since September 2009, starting as a Ph.D. student supervised by Steve Furber. When I submitted my thesis, I started an appointment as research associate within the same group.

1 - Biography

I graduated (equivalent to MEng) in 2006 in telecommunication engineering at the University of Naples "Federico II", Italy. In 2006 I won a Ph.D. student position at the University of Salerno, Italy, on real-time traffic monitoring. In 2007 I quitted the Ph.D. course and I started working for Nolan Norton Italia s.r.l. - KPMG, Rome, Italy, where I was a consultant in the IT sector for public institutions, banks and telecommunication companies. In 2009 I accepted a position of Ph.D. student at the University of Manchester, and in September 2012 I submitted my thesis. In October 2012 I started an appointment as research associate within the same group.

2 - Research interests

I'm currently involved in the SpiNNaker project, a universal large-scale real-time spiking neural network simulator.
My research is focusing on learning rules in spiking spiking neural networks, and on the efficient implementation of those in the SpiNNaker simulator.
In addition to this main research topic, I have been interested in other two topics: a real-time interface between a host computer and the SpiNNaker board to inject and receive spikes to/from the SpiNNaker board (also known as Spikeserver), and the generation of the synaptic interconnection pattern directly on-board the SpiNNaker system.
My future research plans involve general-purpose parallel processing on many-core architectures with the idea of developing a self-balancing auto-reconfiguring architecture. Such technology would then be applied to improve the realism of simulation, allowing the adaptability of the machine to the simulation performed. In fact, the SpiNNaker machine has been used beyond the initial scope of spiking neural network simulations, performing also finite element simulations. In the spiking neural network domain, structural plasticity is the natural application of the self-balancing auto-reconfiguring architecture. This class of processes includes multiple biological processes such as synaptic rewiring, synaptic pruning, neurogenesys and neuroapoptosis.

3 - Thesis

The title of the thesis is "Learning in Spiking Neural Networks", and involves three contributions:
  • The SpikeServer: a tool to send spikes from a host computer to the SpiNNaker board in synchrony with the clock on the SpiNNaker board;
  • Population-based routing: an approach to route spikes on the SpiNNaker system based on population of neurons rather than single neurons;
  • The STDP-TTS: a learning rule, similar to the STDP that has advantages in neuromorphic/neuromimetic implementation;
I defended my thesis in December 2012 and submitted the final version in January 2013.

4 - Lectures

In 2011 and 2012 I have been lecturing for the course COMP 32111 System-on-Chip modelling with SystemC.
Since January 2014 I am lecturing for the course COMP 25212 System Architectures.
If you require the slides of the lecture, please send me an e-mail.

5 - Teaching assistantships

During my PhD course I've been TA in these courses:



COMP 10211 Fundamentals of Computer Engineering
COMP 12111 Fundamentals of Computer Engineering
COMP 15111 Fundamentals of Computer Architecture
COMP 22712 Microcontrollers
COMP 25111 Operating systems
COMP 26120 Algorithms and Imperative Programming
COMP 28512 Mobile systems
COMP 32111 System-on-chip Modelling with SystemC

6 - Publications

Here is a list of the publications I've contributed. Check the publications section for more details:

Recommended publications

  • Journal article:
    Sergio Davies, Francesco Galluppi, Alexander Rast, Steve Furber
    "A forecast-based STDP rule suitable for neuromorphic implementation" - (link)

  • Journal article:
    Sergio Davies, Cameron Patterson, Francesco Galluppi, Alexander Rast, David Lester and Steve Furber
    "Interfacing Real-Time Spiking I/O with the SpiNNaker neuromimetic architecture" - (link)

  • Conference proceeding:
    Sergio Davies, Alexander Rast, Francesco Galluppi and Steve Furber
    "A forecast-based biologically-plausible STDP learning rule" - (link)

  • Conference proceeding:
    Sergio Davies, Javier Navaridas, Francesco Galluppi, Steve Fuber
    "Population-based routing in the SpiNNaker neuromorphic architecture" - (link)

Journal articles

  • Xin Jin, Mikel Lujan, Luis A. Plana, Sergio Davies, Steve Temple and Steve Furber
    "Modeling Spiking Neural Networks on SpiNNaker" - (link)

  • Alexander Rast, Francesco Galluppi, Sergio Davies, Luis Plana, Cameron Patterson, Thomas Sharp, David Lester, Steve Furber
    "Concurrent Heterogeneous Neural Model Simulation on Real-Time Neuromimetic Hardware" - (link)

Conference proceedings

  • Sergio Davies, Alexander Rast, Francesco Galluppi and Steve Furber
    "Maintaining Real-Time Synchrony on SpiNNaker" - (link)

  • Xin Jin, Alexander Rast, Francesco Galluppi, Sergio Davies and Steve Furber
    "Implementing Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity on SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Hardware" - (link)

  • Xin Jin, Francesco Galluppi, Cameron Patterson, Alexander Rast, Sergio Davies, Steve Temple and Steve Furber
    "Algorithm and Software for Simulation of Spiking Neural Networks on the Multi-Chip SpiNNaker System" - (link)

  • Frencesco Galluppi, Alexander Rast, Sergio Davies, and Steve Furber
    "A general-purpose model translation system for a universal neural chip" - (link)

  • Alexander Rast, Francesco Galluppi, Sergio Davies, Luis A. Plana, Thomas Sharp and Steve Furber
    "An Event-Driven Model for the SpiNNaker Virtual Synaptic Channel" - (link)

  • Andrew Webb, Sergio Davies and David Lester
    "Spiking Neural PID Controllers" - (link)

  • Francesco Galluppi, Sergio Davies, Terry Stewart, Chris Eliasmith and Steve Furber
    "Real Time On-Chip Implementation of Dynamical Systems with Spiking Neurons" - (link)

  • Francesco Galluppi, Sergio Davies, Alexander Rast, Thomas Sharp, Luis Plana, Steve Furber
    "Hierarchical Configuration System for a Massively Parallel Neural Hardware Platform" - (link)

  • Sergio Davies, Cameron Patterson, Francesco Galluppi, Andrew Webb and Steve Furber
    "SpiNNaker: A Modular Universal Neural Network Simulator" - (link)

7 - Relevant documents

  • COMP 7000 presentation pdf file;
  • Presentation about CiteULike (article web management tool) zip file;
  • SpiNNaker meeting presentation pdf file (date: 11-03-2010);
  • Presentation about CapoCaccia Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop 2010 zip file;
  • Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition Engineering Workshop 2010 video on youtube and results (note: self-signed certificate which you may need to accept and import to be able to view this site);
  • Presentation made at IJCNN2010 - Barcelona, Spain about STDP implementation on SpiNNaker pdf file;
  • SpiNNaker meeting presentation about IJCNN2010 - Barcelona, Spain pdf file (date: 11-08-2010). Thanks to Alex Rast for this;
  • First year interview presentation zip file;
  • First year long report zip file;
  • First year short report zip file;
  • Presentation about Subversion code management system (aka SVN) zip file;
  • Second year poster pdf file;
  • ICONIP 2010 presentation pdf file;
  • SpiNNaker line following youtube link and video file;
  • ACM computing frontiers 2011 presentation pdf file;
  • ACM computing frontiers 2011 poster pdf file;
  • Poster presented at the Manchester Neuroscience Symposium jpg file;
  • Telluride newspaper frontpage pdf file and reference in the University News;
  • Presentation made during Telluride workshop regarding the SpiNNaker system pdf file;
  • Presentation made at IJCNN2011 - San Jose, California about the STDP TTS pdf file;
  • Research symposium2011 presentation pdf and ppt file;

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