arXiv:2405.01741v1 Announce Type: new
Abstract: Reliability of AI systems is a fundamental concern for the successful deployment and widespread adoption of AI technologies. Unfortunately, the escalating complexity and heterogeneity of AI hardware systems make them inevitably and increasingly susceptible to hardware faults (e.g., bit flips) that can potentially corrupt model parameters. Given this challenge, this paper aims to answer a critical question: How likely is a parameter corruption to result in an incorrect model output? To systematically answer this question, we propose a novel quantitative metric, Parameter Vulnerability Factor (PVF), inspired by architectural vulnerability factor (AVF) in computer architecture community, aiming to standardize the quantification of AI model resilience/vulnerability against parameter corruptions. We define a model parameter’s PVF as the probability that a corruption in that particular model parameter will result in an incorrect output. Similar to AVF, this statistical concept can be derived from statistically extensive and meaningful fault injection (FI) experiments. In this paper, we present several use cases on applying PVF to three types of tasks/models during inference — recommendation (DLRM), vision classification (CNN), and text classification (BERT). PVF can provide pivotal insights to AI hardware designers in balancing the tradeoff between fault protection and performance/efficiency such as mapping vulnerable AI parameter components to well-protected hardware modules. PVF metric is applicable to any AI model and has a potential to help unify and standardize AI vulnerability/resilience evaluation practice.



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