AI on the Edge with CondenseNeXt: An Efficient Deep Neural Network for Devices with Constrained Computational Resources
thesisposted on 05.08.2021, 14:45 by Priyank KalgaonkarPriyank Kalgaonkar
Research work presented within this thesis propose a neoteric variant of deep convolutional neural network architecture, CondenseNeXt, designed specifically for ARM-based embedded computing platforms with constrained computational resources. CondenseNeXt is an improved version of CondenseNet, the baseline architecture whose roots can be traced back to ResNet. CondeseNeXt replaces group convolutions in CondenseNet with depthwise separable convolutions and introduces group-wise pruning, a model compression technique, to prune (remove) redundant and insignificant elements that either are irrelevant or do not affect performance of the network upon disposition. Cardinality, a new dimension to the existing spatial dimensions, and class-balanced focal loss function, a weighting factor inversely proportional to the number of samples, has been incorporated in order to relieve the harsh effects of pruning, into the design of CondenseNeXt’s algorithm. Furthermore, extensive analyses of this novel CNN architecture was performed on three benchmarking image datasets: CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and ImageNet by deploying the trained weight on to an ARM-based embedded computing platform: NXP BlueBox 2.0, for real-time image classification. The outputs are observed in real-time in RTMaps Remote Studio’s console to verify the correctness of classes being predicted. CondenseNeXt achieves state-of-the-art image classification performance on three benchmark datasets including CIFAR-10 (4.79% top-1 error), CIFAR-100 (21.98% top-1 error) and ImageNet (7.91% single model, single crop top-5 error), and up to 59.98% reduction in forward FLOPs compared to CondenseNet. CondenseNeXt can also achieve a final trained model size of 2.9 MB, however at the cost of 2.26% in accuracy loss. Thus, performing image classification on ARM-Based computing platforms without requiring a CUDA enabled GPU support, with outstanding efficiency.