SmartDet: Context-Aware Dynamic Control of Edge Task Offloading for Mobile Object Detection

Davide Callegaro, Francesco Restuccia, Marco Levorato

Mobile devices increasingly rely on object detection (OD) through deep neural networks (DNNs) to perform critical tasks. Due to their high complexity, the execution of these DNNs requires excessive time and energy. Low-complexity object tracking (OT) can be used with OD, where the latter is periodically applied to generate "fresh" references for tracking. However, the frames processed with OD incur large delays, which may make the reference outdated and degrade tracking quality. Herein, we propose to use edge computing in this context, and establish parallel OT (at the mobile device) and OD (at the edge server) processes that are resilient to large OD latency. We propose Katch-Up, a novel tracking mechanism that improves the system resilience to excessive OD delay. However, while Katch-Up significantly improves performance, it also increases the computing load of the mobile device. Hence, we design SmartDet, a low-complexity controller based on deep reinforcement learning (DRL) that learns controlling the trade-off between resource utilization and OD performance. SmartDet takes as input context-related information related to the current video content and the current network conditions to optimize frequency and type of OD offloading, as well as Katch-Up utilization. We extensively evaluate SmartDet on a real-world testbed composed of a JetSon Nano as mobile device and a GTX 980 Ti as edge server, connected through a Wi-Fi link. Experimental results show that SmartDet achieves an optimal balance between tracking performance - mean Average Recall (mAR) and resource usage. With respect to a baseline with full Katch-Upusage and maximum channel usage, we still increase mAR by 4% while using 50% less of the channel and 30% power resources associated with Katch-Up. With respect to a fixed strategy using minimal resources, we increase mAR by 20% while using Katch-Up on 1/3 of the frames.

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