Hardware architecture of the Protein Processing Associative Memory and the effects of dimensionality and quantisation on performance

Omer Qadir, Alex Lenz, Gianluca Tempesti, Jon Timmis, Tony Pipe, Andy Tyrrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Protein Processor Associative Memory (PPAM) is a novel hardware architecture for a distributed, decentralised, robust and scalable, bidirectional, hetero-associative memory, that can adapt online to changes in the training data. The PPAM uses the location of data in memory to identify relationships and is therefore fundamentally different from traditional processing methods that tend to use arithmetic operations to perform computation. This paper presents the hardware architecture and details a sample digital logic implementation with an analysis of the implications of using existing techniques for such hardware architectures. It also presents the results of implementing the PPAM for a robotic application that involves learning the forward and inverse kinematics. The results show that, contrary to most other techniques, the PPAM benefits from higher dimensionality of data, and that quantisation intervals are crucial to the performance of the PPAM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-274
Number of pages30
JournalGenetic programming and evolvable machines
Issue number3
Early online date2 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Protein processing
  • PPAM
  • FGPA
  • Associative memory
  • BERT2
  • Inverse kinematics
  • Dimensionality
  • Quantisation
  • Non-standard computation

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