Modern IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) networks extensively rely on multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) to significantly improve throughput. To correctly beamform MIMO transmissions, the access point needs to frequently acquire a beamforming matrix (BM) from each connected station. However, the size of the matrix grows with the number of antennas and subcarriers, resulting in an increasing amount of airtime overhead and computational load at the station. Conventional approaches come with either excessive computational load or loss of beamforming precision. For this reason, we propose SplitBeam, a new framework where we train a split deep neural network (DNN) to directly output the BM given the channel state information (CSI) matrix as input. We formulate and solve a bottleneck optimization problem (BOP) to keep computation, airtime overhead, and bit error rate (BER) below application requirements. We perform extensive experimental CSI collection with off-the-shelf Wi-Fi devices in two distinct environments and compare the performance of SplitBeam with the standard IEEE 802.11 algorithm for BM feedback and the state-of-the-art DNN-based approach LB-SciFi. Our experimental results show that SplitBeam reduces the beamforming feedback size and computational complexity by respectively up to 81% and 84% while maintaining BER within about 10^-3 of existing approaches. We also implement the SplitBeam DNNs on FPGA hardware to estimate the end-to-end BM reporting delay, and show that the latter is less than 10 milliseconds in the most complex scenario, which is the target channel sounding frequency in realistic multi-user MIMO scenarios.
Deep neural networks (DNN) usually come with a significant computational burden. While approaches such as structured pruning and mobile-specific DNNs have been proposed, they incur drastic accuracy loss. In this paper we leverage the intrinsic redundancy in latent representations to reduce the computational load with limited loss in performance. We show that semantically similar inputs share many filters, especially in the earlier layers. Thus, semantically similar classes can be clustered to create cluster-specific subgraphs. To this end, we propose a new framework called Semantic Inference (SINF). In short, SINF (i) identifies the semantic cluster the object belongs to using a small additional classifier and (ii) executes the subgraph extracted from the base DNN related to that semantic cluster for inference. To extract each cluster-specific subgraph, we propose a new approach named Discriminative Capability Score (DCS) that finds the subgraph with the capability to discriminate among the members of a specific semantic cluster. DCS is independent from SINF and can be applied to any DNN. We benchmark the performance of DCS on the VGG16, VGG19, and ResNet50 DNNs trained on the CIFAR100 dataset against 6 state-of-the-art pruning approaches. Our results show that (i) SINF reduces the inference time of VGG19, VGG16, and ResNet50 respectively by up to 35%, 29% and 15% with only 0.17%, 3.75%, and 6.75% accuracy loss (ii) DCS achieves respectively up to 3.65%, 4.25%, and 2.36% better accuracy with VGG16, VGG19, and ResNet50 with respect to existing discriminative scores (iii) when used as a pruning criterion, DCS achieves up to 8.13% accuracy gain with 5.82% less parameters than the existing state of the art work published at ICLR 2023 (iv) when considering per-cluster accuracy, SINF performs on average 5.73%, 8.38% and 6.36% better than the base VGG16, VGG19, and ResNet50.
Distributed deep neural networks (DNNs) have been shown to reduce the computational burden of mobile devices and decrease the end-to-end inference latency in edge computing scenarios. While distributed DNNs have been studied, to the best of our knowledge the resilience of distributed DNNs to adversarial action still remains an open problem. In this paper, we fill the existing research gap by rigorously analyzing the robustness of distributed DNNs against adversarial action. We cast this problem in the context of information theory and introduce two new measurements for distortion and robustness. Our theoretical findings indicate that (i) assuming the same level of information distortion, latent features are always more robust than input representations; (ii) the adversarial robustness is jointly determined by the feature dimension and the generalization capability of the DNN. To test our theoretical findings, we perform extensive experimental analysis by considering 6 different DNN architectures, 6 different approaches for distributed DNN and 10 different adversarial attacks to the ImageNet-1K dataset. Our experimental results support our theoretical findings by showing that the compressed latent representations can reduce the success rate of adversarial attacks by 88% in the best case and by 57% on the average compared to attacks to the input space.
Recently, researchers have shown that the beamforming feedback angles (BFAs) used for Wi-Fi multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) operations can be effectively leveraged as a proxy of the channel frequency response (CFR) for different purposes. Examples are passive human activity recognition and device fingerprinting. However, even though the BFAs report frames are sent in clear text, there is not yet a unified open-source tool to extract and decode the BFAs from the frames. To fill this gap, we developed Wi-BFI, the first tool that allows retrieving Wi-Fi BFAs and reconstructing the beamforming feedback information (BFI) - a compressed representation of the CFR - from the BFAs frames captured over the air. The tool supports BFAs extraction within both IEEE 802.11ac and 802.11ax networks operating on radio channels with 160/80/40/20 MHz bandwidth. Both multi-user and single-user MIMO feedback can be decoded through Wi-BFI. The tool supports real-time and offline extraction and storage of BFAs and BFI. The real-time mode also includes a visual representation of the channel state that continuously updates based on the collected data. Wi-BFI code is open source and the tool is also available as a pip package.
In this paper, we propose BeamSense, a completely novel approach to implement standard-compliant Wi-Fi sensing applications. Wi-Fi sensing enables game-changing applications in remote healthcare, home entertainment, and home surveillance, among others. However, existing work leverages the manual extraction of channel state information (CSI) from Wi-Fi chips to classify activities, which is not supported by the Wi-Fi standard and hence requires the usage of specialized equipment. On the contrary, BeamSense leverages the standard-compliant beamforming feedback information (BFI) to characterize the propagation environment. Conversely from CSI, the BFI (i) can be easily recorded without any firmware modification, and (ii) captures the multiple channels between the access point and the stations, thus providing much better sensitivity. BeamSense includes a novel cross-domain few-shot learning (FSL) algorithm to handle unseen environments and subjects with few additional data points. We evaluate BeamSense through an extensive data collection campaign with three subjects performing twenty different activities in three different environments. We show that our BFI-based approach achieves about 10% more accuracy when compared to CSI-based prior work, while our FSL strategy improves accuracy by up to 30% and 80% when compared with state-of-the-art cross-domain algorithms.
Thanks to the ubiquitous deployment of Wi-Fi hotspots, channel state information (CSI)-based Wi-Fi sensing can unleash game-changing applications in many fields, such as healthcare, security, and entertainment. However, despite one decade of active research on Wi-Fi sensing, most existing work only considers legacy IEEE 802.11n devices, often in particular and strictly-controlled environments. Worse yet, there is a fundamental lack of understanding of the impact on CSI-based sensing of modern Wi-Fi features, such as 160-MHz bandwidth, multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) transmissions, and increased spectral resolution in IEEE 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). This work aims to shed light on the impact of Wi-Fi 6 features on the sensing performance and to create a benchmark for future research on Wi-Fi sensing. To this end, we perform an extensive CSI data collection campaign involving 3 individuals, 3 environments, and 12 activities, using Wi-Fi 6 signals. An anonymized ground truth obtained through video recording accompanies our 80-GB dataset, which contains almost two hours of CSI data from three collectors. We leverage our dataset to dissect the performance of a state-of-the-art sensing framework across different environments and individuals. Our key findings suggest that (i) MIMO transmissions and higher spectral resolution might be more beneficial than larger bandwidth for sensing applications; (ii) there is a pressing need to standardize research on Wi-Fi sensing because the path towards a truly environment-independent framework is still uncertain. To ease the experiments' replicability and address the current lack of Wi-Fi 6 CSI datasets, we release our 80-GB dataset to the community.
To perform advanced surveillance, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) require the execution of edge-assisted computer vision (CV) tasks. In multi-hop UAV networks, the successful transmission of these tasks to the edge is severely challenged due to severe bandwidth constraints. For this reason, we propose a novel A$^2$-UAV framework to optimize the number of correctly executed tasks at the edge. In stark contrast with existing art, we take an application-aware approach and formulate a novel pplication-Aware Task Planning Problem (A$^2$-TPP) that takes into account (i) the relationship between deep neural network (DNN) accuracy and image compression for the classes of interest based on the available dataset, (ii) the target positions, (iii) the current energy/position of the UAVs to optimize routing, data pre-processing and target assignment for each UAV. We demonstrate A$^2$-TPP is NP-Hard and propose a polynomial-time algorithm to solve it efficiently. We extensively evaluate A$^2$-UAV through real-world experiments with a testbed composed by four DJI Mavic Air 2 UAVs. We consider state-of-the-art image classification tasks with four different DNN models (i.e., DenseNet, ResNet152, ResNet50 and MobileNet-V2) and object detection tasks using YoloV4 trained on the ImageNet dataset. Results show that A$^2$-UAV attains on average around 38% more accomplished tasks than the state-of-the-art, with 400% more accomplished tasks when the number of targets increases significantly. To allow full reproducibility, we pledge to share datasets and code with the research community.
As Wi-Fi becomes ubiquitous in public and private spaces, it becomes natural to leverage its intrinsic ability to sense the surrounding environment to implement groundbreaking wireless sensing applications such as human presence detection, activity recognition, and object tracking. For this reason, the IEEE 802.11bf Task Group is defining the appropriate modifications to existing Wi-Fi standards to enhance sensing capabilities through 802.11-compliant devices. However, the new standard is expected to leave the specific sensing algorithms open to implementation. To fill this gap, this article explores the practical implications of integrating sensing and communications into Wi-Fi networks. We provide an overview of the support that will enable sensing applications, together with an in-depth analysis of the role of different devices in a Wi-Fi sensing system and a description of the open research challenges. Moreover, an experimental evaluation with off-the-shelf devices provides suggestions about the parameters to be considered when designing Wi-Fi sensing systems. To make such an evaluation replicable, we pledge to release all of our dataset and code to the community.
Next-generation wireless networks will leverage the spectrum above 100 GHz to enable ultra-high data rate communications over multi-GHz-wide bandwidths. The propagation environment at such high frequencies, however, introduces challenges throughout the whole protocol stack design, from physical layer signal processing to application design. Therefore, it is fundamental to develop a holistic understanding of the channel propagation and fading characteristics over realistic deployment scenarios and ultra-wide bands. In this paper, we conduct an extensive measurement campaign to evaluate the impact of weather conditions on a wireless link in the 130-150 GHz band through a channel sounding campaign with clear weather, rain, and snow in a typical urban backhaul scenario. We present a novel channel sounder design that captures signals with -82 dBm sensitivity and 20 GHz of bandwidth. We analyze link budget, capacity, as well as channel parameters such as the delay spread and the K-factor. Our experimental results indicate that in the considered context the adverse weather does not interrupt the link, but introduces some additional constraints (e.g., high delay spread and increase in path loss in snow conditions) that need to be accounted for in the design of reliable Sixth Generation (6G) communication links above 100 GHz.