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Attention-aware Semantic Communications for Collaborative Inference
  • +3
  • Jiwoong Im,
  • Nayoung Kwon,
  • Taewoo Park,
  • Jiheon Woo,
  • Jaeho Lee,
  • Yongjune Kim
Jiwoong Im
Nayoung Kwon
Taewoo Park
Jiheon Woo
Jaeho Lee
Yongjune Kim

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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We propose a communication-efficient collaborative inference framework in the domain of edge inference, focusing on the efficient use of vision transformer (ViTs) models. The partitioning strategy of conventional collaborative inference fails to reduce communication cost because of the inherent architecture of ViTs maintaining consistent layer dimensions across the entire transformer encoder. Therefore, instead of employing the partitioning strategy, our framework utilizes a lightweight ViT model on the edge device, with the server deploying a complicated ViT model. To enhance communication efficiency and achieve the classification accuracy of the server model, we propose two strategies: 1) attention-aware patch selection and 2) entropy-aware image transmission. Attention-aware patch selection leverages the attention scores generated by the edge device’s transformer encoder to identify and select the image patches critical for classification. This strategy enables the edge device to transmit only the essential patches to the server, significantly improving communication efficiency. Entropy-aware image transmission uses min-entropy as a metric to accurately determine whether to depend on the lightweight model on the edge device or to request the inference from the server model. In our framework, the lightweight ViT model on the edge device acts as a semantic encoder, efficiently identifying and selecting the crucial image information required for the classification task. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed collaborative inference framework can reduce communication overhead by 68 % with only a minimal loss in accuracy compared to the server model.
01 Mar 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
04 Mar 2024Published in TechRxiv