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Roofline Model for UAVs: A Bottleneck Analysis Tool for Onboard Compute Characterization of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Srivatsan Krishnan
Zishen Wan
Kshitij Bhardwaj
Ninad Jadhav
Vijay Janapa Reddi
IEEE International Symposium on Performance Analysis of Systems and Software (ISPASS) (2022)


We introduce an early-phase bottleneck analysis and characterization model called the F-1 for designing computing systems that target autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The model provides insights by exploiting the fundamental relationships between various components in the autonomous UAV, such as sensor, compute, and body dynamics. To guarantee safe operation while maximizing the performance (e.g., velocity) of the UAV, the compute, sensor, and other mechanical properties must be carefully selected or designed. The F-1 model provides visual insights that can aid a system architect in understanding the optimal compute design or selection for autonomous UAVs. The model is experimentally validated using real UAVs, and the error is between 5.1\% to 9.5\% compared to real-world flight tests. An interactive web-based tool for the F-1 model called Skyline is available for free of cost use at: https://bit.ly/skyline-tool