ApproxDet: Content and Contention-Aware Approximate Object Detection for Mobiles

Advanced video analytic systems, including scene classification and object detection, have seen widespread success in various domains such as smart cities and autonomous transportation. With an ever-growing number of powerful client devices, there is incentive to move these heavy video analytics workloads from the cloud to mobile devices to achieve low latency and real-time processing and to preserve user privacy. However, most video analytic systems are heavyweight and are trained offline with some pre-defined latency or accuracy requirements. This makes them unable to adapt at runtime in the face of three types of dynamism -- the input video characteristics change, the amount of compute resources available on the node changes due to co-located applications, and the user's latency-accuracy requirements change. In this paper we introduce ApproxDet, an adaptive video object detection framework for mobile devices to meet accuracy-latency requirements in the face of changing content and resource contention scenarios. To achieve this, we introduce a multi-branch object detection kernel (layered on Faster R-CNN), which incorporates a data-driven modeling approach on the performance metrics, and a latency SLA-driven scheduler to pick the best execution branch at runtime. We couple this kernel with approximable video object tracking algorithms to create an end-to-end video object detection system. We evaluate ApproxDet on a large benchmark video dataset and compare quantitatively to AdaScale and YOLOv3. We find that ApproxDet is able to adapt to a wide variety of contention and content characteristics and outshines all baselines, e.g., it achieves 52% lower latency and 11.1% higher accuracy over YOLOv3.

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