Biologically Inspired Neural Network (BINN) Labs

The BINN Labs @ BITS Pilani Goa campus falls under the purview of the Data Science Research Group of the Department of Computer Science. The lab comprise a small team of undergraduate and postgraduate students, led by Basabdatta Sen Bhattacharya (Principal Investigator; PI), who are fascinated with the areas of neural networks and/or neuroscience in particular, and artificial intelligence in general. Our research interests are two-fold:

  1. Computational Neuroscience: Design and develop biologically inspired/informed neural circuits/models that can advance the understanding of brain disease and mental health. Towards this, we use lumped parameter neural networks that are known to emulate high level brain data such as Electroencephalogram (EEG).
  2. Neuro-inspired Technology: Design and develop biologically inspired/informed neural networks that can be trained for visual cognition and decision making. Towards this, we use Spiking Neural Networks (SNN) that have, thus far, been implemented on the SpiNNaker neuromorphic platform. Alongside, we are now looking into computation on GPU using PyGeNN.

We have been functional since January 2019, and have thus far been successful in receiving competitive funds in excess of 43 Lakhs INR, out of which 20 Lakhs INR are to be invested in state-of-the-art research equipments. As a part of this initiative, we have now acquired a Nvidia R2080 GPU-based server that is now up and running. Our present access to the SpiNNaker computer is via the Human Brain Project platform, but we also have two 4-node SpiNNaker boards (on loan from the SpiNNaker Team at the University of Manchester) for student project and training.

We work closely with several external collaborators, many of who guide our research directions and progress. Continued collaboration with Teresa Serrano Gotarredona's lab at Seville resulted in two conference publications this year: CISS 2021, 26th March, where a part of the work was done as undergraduate projects of both collaborating Institutes; NER 2021, 5th May. During 2020: outcomes of two separate undergraduate student projects was presented and published in the Proceedings of the IJCNN 2020; outcomes of two overlapping undergraduate projects was presented as a Poster at the Bernstein Conference 2020. The PI is a visiting researcher at the University of Manchester and continues to collaborate with the SpiNNaker team.

We are always looking for bright minds to join the team. Expression of interest from potential PhD scholars to join us and associated labs are always welcome.