Chanakya: Learning Runtime Decisions for Adaptive Real-Time Perception

NeurIPS 2023

Anurag Ghosh      Vaibhav Balloli      Akshay Nambi      Aditya Singh      Tanuja Ganu     

Microsoft Research


Real-time perception requires planned resource utilization. Computational planning in real-time perception is governed by two considerations - accuracy and latency. There exist run-time decisions (e.g. choice of input resolution) that induce tradeoffs affecting performance on a given hardware, arising from intrinsic (content, e.g. scene clutter) and extrinsic (system, e.g. resource contention) characteristics. Earlier runtime execution frameworks employed rule-based decision algorithms and operated with a fixed algorithm latency budget to balance these concerns, which is sub-optimal and inflexible. We propose Chanakya, a learned approximate execution framework that naturally derives from the streaming perception paradigm, to automatically learn decisions induced by these tradeoffs instead. Chanakya is trained via novel rewards balancing accuracy and latency implicitly, without approximating either objectives. Chanakya simultaneously considers intrinsic and extrinsic context, and predicts decisions in a flexible manner. Chanakya, designed with low overhead in mind, outperforms state-of-the-art static and dynamic execution policies on public datasets on both server GPUs and edge devices


In this work, we tackle the Streaming Perception problem.


Multiple optimal configurations exist that satisfy the real-time requirements (33ms) of a real-time perception system. By learning the optimal configuration depending on the environment, can we improve the streaming perception performance ?

Our Framework - Chanakya

Result: Performance improvement without additional model training

Insight: Configurations chosen are adaptive

On a Server-class GPU like V100, Chanakya learns to select configurations that can improve streaming perception performance

Insight: Chanakya's Reward function doesn't assume anything about the hardware

Chanakya learns to select configurations that can improve streaming perception performance on an edge devices like NVidia Jetson Xavier AGX and NX.

Feature: Extrinsic contexts like process contention can easily be included

To cite our work, please use the following BibTex:


  title={Chanakya: Learning Runtime Decisions for Adaptive Real-Time Perception},
  author={Ghosh, Anurag and Balloli, Vaibhav and Nambi, Akshay and Singh, Aditya and Ganu, Tanuja},
  booktitle={Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems},