Purdue University Graduate School
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Efficient Edge Intelligence In the Era of Big Data

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posted on 2022-04-22, 15:30 authored by Jun Hua WongJun Hua Wong
Smart wearables, known as emerging paradigms for vital big data capturing, have been attracting intensive attentions. However, one crucial problem is their power-hungriness, i.e., the continuous data streaming consumes energy dramatically and requires devices to be frequently charged. Targeting this obstacle, we propose to investigate the biodynamic patterns in the data and design a data-driven approach for intelligent data compression. We leverage Deep Learning (DL), more specifically, Convolutional Autoencoder (CAE), to learn a sparse representation of the vital big data. The minimized energy need, even taking into consideration the CAE-induced overhead, is tremendously lower than the original energy need. Further, compared with state-of-the-art wavelet compression-based method, our method can compress the data with a dramatically lower error for a similar energy budget. Our experiments and the validated approach are expected to boost the energy efficiency of wearables, and thus greatly advance ubiquitous big data applications in era of smart health.
In recent years, there has also been a growing interest in edge intelligence for emerging instantaneous big data inference. However, the inference algorithms, especially deep learning, usually require heavy computation requirements, thereby greatly limiting their deployment on the edge. We take special interest in the smart health wearable big data mining and inference.

Targeting the deep learning’s high computational complexity and large memory and energy requirements, new approaches are urged to make the deep learning algorithms ultra-efficient for wearable big data analysis. We propose to leverage knowledge distillation to achieve an ultra-efficient edge-deployable deep learning model. More specifically, through transferring the knowledge from a teacher model to the on-edge student model, the soft target distribution of the teacher model can be effectively learned by the student model. Besides, we propose to further introduce adversarial robustness to the student model, by stimulating the student model to correctly identify inputs that have adversarial perturbation. Experiments demonstrate that the knowledge distillation student model has comparable performance to the heavy teacher model but owns a substantially smaller model size. With adversarial learning, the student model has effectively preserved its robustness. In such a way, we have demonstrated the framework with knowledge distillation and adversarial learning can, not only advance ultra-efficient edge inference, but also preserve the robustness facing the perturbed input.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • Indianapolis

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Qingxue Zhang

Additional Committee Member 2

Bryan King

Additional Committee Member 3

Peter Schubert