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Multi-threshold threshold elements

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1 Author(s)
Donald R. Haring ; Electronic Systems Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

A multi-threshold element is one in which several thresholds are used to separate the true inputs from the false inputs. Many circuit elements and configurations can be described by this model. An approach, based on conventional single-threshold threshold elements, is developed for the analysis and synthesis of multithreshold threshold elements. It is shown that the basic properties of such elements are similar to conventional threshold elements, and that k-threshold threshold-element realizability of an arbitrary n-variable Boolean function can be related to conventional threshold-element realizability of a related (n+k-1)-variable Boolean function. Foundations for two basically different methods for the synthesis of a single-element realization of an arbitrary Boolean function are developed, as are procedures for transforming such a realization into both two-level and multilevel loop-free networks of k-threshold threshold elements k??1. Every element in the networks has the identical weight vector for the independent variables, which is some-times desirable. The transformation technique is a useful approach to the synthesis of functions by networks of conventional threshold elements. It is proved that if the given function requires a k-threshold threshold element, then at least [k/2+I] conventional threshold elements in a two-level network or [1+log2 k] such elements in a multilevel network are required. Transformations are given for corresponding minimum-gate networks. Electronic-circuit realizations of multi-threshold elements and some logical-design applications of the multi-threshold approach to network design are discussed. The latter indicate that this approach can be easy to use and can result in economical realizations.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Electronic Computers  (Volume:EC-15 ,  Issue: 1 )