Probability Distribution Calculations with Stochastic Circuits

Stephen Parsons, Sayed Ahmad Salehi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Stochastic circuits are an alternative computation model where real numbers are represented by probabilistic bit-streams. This paper takes tools and lessons from stochastic circuits and uses them to analyze more general inputs to any logic circuit, where the joint input distribution may be complex and unknown. Even if the inputs are not designed to be stochastic numbers, circuits from stochastic computing can be applied to them in order to perform various calculations regarding the input distribution. Methods for the calculation of joint probabilities, marginalizations, conditional probabilities, and other quantities are presented. These methods can be applied anywhere a circuit has logical inputs. The inputs could represent readings from a sensor, intermediate values during a computation, or any other set of bit-streams. In any of these cases, it may be useful to know certain properties of their distribution, and this paper discusses how these can be calculated with low cost. A number of ideas are also presented for future work that could further analyze and create complex distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022
EditorsMichael B. Matthews
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781665459068
StatePublished - 2022
Event56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 31 2022Nov 2 2022

Publication series

NameConference Record - Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers
ISSN (Print)1058-6393


Conference56th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers, ACSSC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 IEEE.


  • Stochastic computing
  • probabilistic computing
  • stochastic circuits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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