Towards Human Society-inspired Decentralized DNN Inference

In human societies, individuals make their own decisions and they may select if and who may influence it, by e.g., consulting with people of their acquaintance or experts of a field. At a societal level, the overall knowledge is preserved and enhanced by individual person empowerment, where complicated consensus protocols have been developed over time in the form of societal mechanisms to assess, weight, combine and isolate individual people opinions. In distributed machine learning environments however, individual AI agents are merely part of a system where decisions are made in a centralized and aggregated fashion or require a fixed network topology, a practice prone to security risks and collaboration is nearly absent. For instance, Byzantine Failures may tamper both the training and inference stage of individual AI agents, leading to significantly reduced overall system performance. Inspired by societal practices, we propose a decentralized inference strategy where each individual agent is empowered to make their own decisions, by exchanging and aggregating information with other agents in their network. To this end, a ”Quality of Inference” consensus protocol (QoI) is proposed, forming a single commonly accepted inference rule applied by every individual agent. The overall system knowledge and decisions on specific manners can thereby be stored by all individual agents in a decentralized fashion, employing e.g., blockchain technology. Our experiments in classification tasks indicate that the proposed approach forms a secure decentralized inference framework, that prevents adversaries at tampering the overall process and achieves comparable performance with centralized decision aggregation methods.