Recent breakthroughs in deep learning (DL) have led to the emergence of many intelligent mobile applications and services, but in the meanwhile also pose unprecedented computing challenges on resource-constrained mobile devices. This paper builds a collaborative deep inference system between a resource-constrained mobile device and a powerful edge server, aiming at joining the power of both on-device processing and computation offloading. The basic idea of this system is to partition a deep neural network (DNN) into a front-end part running on the mobile device and a back-end part running on the edge server, with the key challenge being how to locate the optimal partition point to minimize the end-to-end inference delay. Unlike existing efforts on DNN partitioning that rely heavily on a dedicated offline profiling stage to search for the optimal partition point, our system has a built-in online learning module, called Autodidactic Neurosurgeon (ANS), to automatically learn the optimal partition point on-the-fly. Therefore, ANS is able to closely follow the changes of the system environment by generating new knowledge for adaptive decision making. The core of ANS is a novel contextual bandit learning algorithm, called $mu$LinUCB, which not only has provable theoretical learning performance guarantee but also is ultra-lightweight for easy real-world implementation. We implement our system on a video stream object detection testbed to validate the design of ANS and evaluate its performance. The experiments show that ANS significantly outperforms state-of-the-art benchmarks in terms of tracking system changes and reducing the end-to-end inference delay.

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