Slimmable Encoders for Flexible Split DNNs in Bandwidth and Resource Constrained IoT Systems

by   Juliano S. Assine, et al.

The execution of large deep neural networks (DNN) at mobile edge devices requires considerable consumption of critical resources, such as energy, while imposing demands on hardware capabilities. In approaches based on edge computing the execution of the models is offloaded to a compute-capable device positioned at the edge of 5G infrastructures. The main issue of the latter class of approaches is the need to transport information-rich signals over wireless links with limited and time-varying capacity. The recent split computing paradigm attempts to resolve this impasse by distributing the execution of DNN models across the layers of the systems to reduce the amount of data to be transmitted while imposing minimal computing load on mobile devices. In this context, we propose a novel split computing approach based on slimmable ensemble encoders. The key advantage of our design is the ability to adapt computational load and transmitted data size in real-time with minimal overhead and time. This is in contrast with existing approaches, where the same adaptation requires costly context switching and model loading. Moreover, our model outperforms existing solutions in terms of compression efficacy and execution time, especially in the context of weak mobile devices. We present a comprehensive comparison with the most advanced split computing solutions, as well as an experimental evaluation on GPU-less devices.


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