Context-aware Image Compression Optimization for Visual Analytics Offloading


Professor Klara Nahrstedt: Principle Investigator
Bo Chen: Ph.D. Student
Zhisheng Yan: Assistant Professor (George Mason University)


  • Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Project Description

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) have given rise to numerous visual analytics applications at the edge of the Internet. The image is typically captured by cameras and then live-streamed to edge servers for analytics due to the prohibitive cost of running CNN on computation-constrained end devices. A critical component to ensure low-latency and accurate visual analytics offloading over low bandwidth networks is image compression which minimizes the amount of visual data to offload and maximizes the decoding quality of salient pixels for analytics. Despite the wide adoption, JPEG standard and traditional image compression do not address the accuracy of analytics tasks, leading to ineffective compression for visual analytics offloading. Although recent machine-centric image compression techniques leverage sophisticated neural network models or hardware architecture to support the accuracy-bandwidth trade-off, they introduce excessive latency in the visual analytics offloading pipeline. This paper presents CICO, a Context-aware Image Compression Optimization framework to achieve low-bandwidth and low-latency visual analytics offloading. CICO contextualizes image compression for offloading by employing easily-computable low-level image features to understand the importance of different image regions for a visual analytics task. Accordingly, CICO can optimize the trade-off between compression size and analytics accuracy. Extensive real-world experiments demonstrate that CICO reduces the bandwidth consumption of existing compression methods by up to 40\% under a comparable analytics accuracy. In terms of the low-latency support, CICO achieves up to a 2x speedup over state-of-the-art compression techniques.


  • Bo Chen, Zhisheng Yan, and Klara Nahrstedt, “Context-aware optimization for bandwidth-efficient visual analytics offloading”, ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications and Applications, 2023. 
  • Bo Chen, Zhisheng Yan, Klara Nahrstedt, “Context-Aware Compression Optimization for Visual Analytics Offloading”, 13th ACM Multimedia Systems (MMSys 2022), Ireland, June 2022

Funding Agencies

This project is supported by the Army Research Lab funding.