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UR2M: Uncertainty and Resource-Aware Event Detection on Microcontrollers.

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Jia, Hong 
Kwon, Young D 
Ma, Dong 
Pham, Nhat 
Qendro, Lorena 

Abstract

Traditional machine learning techniques are prone to generating inaccurate predictions when confronted with shifts in the distribution of data between the training and testing phases. This vulnerability can lead to severe consequences, especially in applications such as mobile healthcare. Uncertainty estimation has the potential to mitigate this issue by assessing the reliability of a model's output. However, existing uncertainty estimation techniques often require substantial computational resources and memory, making them impractical for implementation on microcontrollers (MCUs). This limitation hinders the feasibility of many important on-device wearable event detection (WED) applications, such as heart attack detection. In this paper, we present UR2M, a novel Uncertainty and Resource-aware event detection framework for MCUs. Specifically, we (i) develop an uncertainty-aware WED based on evidential theory for accurate event detection and reliable uncertainty estimation; (ii) introduce a cascade ML framework to achieve efficient model inference via early exits, by sharing shallower model layers among different event models; (iii) optimize the deployment of the model and MCU library for system efficiency. We conducted extensive experiments and compared UR2M to traditional uncertainty baselines using three wearable datasets. Our results demonstrate that UR2M achieves up to 864% faster inference speed, 857% energy-saving for uncertainty estimation, 55% memory saving on two popular MCUs, and a 22% improvement in uncertainty quantification performance. UR2M can be deployed on a wide range of MCUs, significantly expanding real-time and reliable WED applications.

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The 22nd International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2024)

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This work is supported by ERC through Project 833296 (EAR), and Nokia Bell Labs through a donation.