Recently, spintronic devices with low energy barrier nanomagnets such as spin orbit torque-Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (SOT-MTJs) and embedded magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) devices are being leveraged as a natural building block to provide probabilistic sigmoidal activation functions for RBMs. In this dissertation research, we use the Probabilistic Inference Network Simulator (PIN-Sim) to realize a circuit-level implementation of deep belief networks (DBNs) using memristive crossbars as weighted connections and embedded MRAM-based neurons as activation functions. Herein, a probabilistic interpolation recoder (PIR) circuit is developed for DBNs with probabilistic spin logic (p-bit)-based neurons to interpolate the probabilistic output of the neurons in the last hidden layer which are representing different output classes. Moreover, the impact of reducing the Magnetic Tunnel Junction's (MTJ's) energy barrier is assessed and optimized for the resulting stochasticity present in the learning system. In p-bit based DBNs, different defects such as variation of the nanomagnet thickness can undermine functionality by decreasing the fluctuation speed of the p-bit realized using a nanomagnet. A method is developed and refined to control the fluctuation frequency of the output of a p-bit device by employing a feedback mechanism. The feedback can alleviate this process variation sensitivity of p-bit based DBNs. This compact and low complexity method which is presented by introducing the self-compensating circuit can alleviate the influences of process variation in fabrication and practical implementation. Furthermore, this research presents an innovative image recognition technique for MNIST dataset on the basis of p-bit-based DBNs and TSK rule-based fuzzy systems. The proposed DBN-fuzzy system is introduced to benefit from low energy and area consumption of p-bit-based DBNs and high accuracy of TSK rule-based fuzzy systems. This system initially recognizes the top results through the p-bit-based DBN and then, the fuzzy system is employed to attain the top-1 recognition results from the obtained top outputs. Simulation results exhibit that a DBN-Fuzzy neural network not only has lower energy and area consumption than bigger DBN topologies while also achieving higher accuracy.


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Graduation Date





DeMara, Ronald


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Program

Computer Engineering




CFE0009040; DP0026373





Release Date

May 2022

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)