A First Look at Class Incremental Learning in Deep Learning Mobile Traffic Classification

by   Giampaolo Bovenzi, et al.

The recent popularity growth of Deep Learning (DL) re-ignited the interest towards traffic classification, with several studies demonstrating the accuracy of DL-based classifiers to identify Internet applications' traffic. Even with the aid of hardware accelerators (GPUs, TPUs), DL model training remains expensive, and limits the ability to operate frequent model updates necessary to fit to the ever evolving nature of Internet traffic, and mobile traffic in particular. To address this pain point, in this work we explore Incremental Learning (IL) techniques to add new classes to models without a full retraining, hence speeding up model's updates cycle. We consider iCarl, a state of the art IL method, and MIRAGE-2019, a public dataset with traffic from 40 Android apps, aiming to understand "if there is a case for incremental learning in traffic classification". By dissecting iCarl internals, we discuss ways to improve its design, contributing a revised version, namely iCarl+. Despite our analysis reveals their infancy, IL techniques are a promising research area on the roadmap towards automated DL-based traffic analysis systems.


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