Collaborative edge computing for distributed CNN inference acceleration using receptive field-based segmentation

Nan Li*, Alexandros Iosifidis*, Qi Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This paper studies inference acceleration using distributed CNNs in collaborative edge computing network. To ensure no inference accuracy loss in task partitioning, we propose receptive field-based segmentation. To reduce the computation time and communication overhead, we propose a novel collaborative edge computing using fused-layer parallelization to partition a CNN model into multiple blocks. To find the optimal partition of a CNN model, we use dynamic programming, named as DPFP. To address computation heterogeneity of edge servers (ESs), we design a low-complexity search algorithm which can select the optimal subset of collaborative ESs for inference. The experimental results show that DPFP can accelerate inference up to 71% for ResNet-50 and 73% for VGG-16 compared to running the pre-trained models, which outperforms the existing works MoDNN and DeepSlicing. Moreover, we propose an analytical method to estimate the speedup ratio of different GPU platforms by using FLOPs and effective computing capacity. Furthermore, we evaluate the service failure probability under time-variant channel and variation of image sizes, which shows that DPFP is effective to ensure high service reliability with strict service deadline.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109150
JournalComputer Networks
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022


  • Distributed CNN
  • Edge computing
  • Inference acceleration
  • Inference task partitioning
  • Receptive field


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