ITEM Workshop 2020

IoT, Edge, and Mobile for Embedded Machine Learning

Workshop collocated with ECML-PKDD 2020, Ghent, Belgium, September 14-18, 2020



Local and embedded machine learning (ML) is a key component for real-time data analytics in upcoming computing environments like the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing and mobile ubiquitous systems. The goal of the ITEM workshop is to bring together experts, researchers and practitioners from all relevant communities, including ML, hardware design and embedded systems, IoT, edge, and ubiquitous / mobile computing. Topics of interest include compression techniques for existing ML models, new ML models that are especially suitable for embedded hardware, federated learning approaches, as well as automatic code generation, frameworks and tool support. The workshop is planned as a combination of invited talks, paper submissions, as well as opentable discussions. 

Keywords: embedded machine learning, pervasive intelligent devices, real-time data analytics, uncertainty and robustness

Details on Intersection of Machine Learning and Computer Architecture

There is an increasing need for real-time intelligent data analytics, driven by a world of Big Data, and the society’s need for pervasive intelligent devices. Application examples include wearables for health and recreational purposes, infrastructure such as smart cities, transportation and smart power grids, e-commerce and Industry 4.0, and autonomous robots including self-driving cars. Most applications share facts like large data volumes, real-time requirements, limited resources including processor, memory and network. Often, battery life is a concern, data might be large but possibly incomplete, and probably most important, data can be uncertain. Notably, often powerful cloud services can be unavailable, or not an option due to latency or privacy constraints.

For these tasks, Machine Learning (ML) is among the most promising approaches to address learning and reasoning under uncertainty. In particular deep learning methods in general are well-established supervised or unsupervised ML methods, and well understood with regard to compute/data requirements, accuracy and (partly) generalization. Today’s deep learning algorithms dramatically advance state-of-the-art performance in terms of accuracy of the vast majority of AI tasks. Examples include image and speech processing, such as image recognition, segmentation, object localization, multi-channel speech enhancement, speech recognition, signal processing such as radar signal denoising, with applications as broad as robotics, medicine, autonomous navigation, recommender systems, etc.

As a result, ML is embedded in various compute devices, ranging from power cloud systems over fog and edge computing to smart devices. Due to the demanding nature of this workload, which is heavily compute- and memory-intensive, virtually all deployments are limited by resources, being particularly true for IoT, edge, and mobile. One of the results of these constraints are various specialized processor architectures, which are tailored for particular ML tasks. While this is helpful for this particular task, ML is advancing fast and new methods are introduced frequently. Notably, one can observe that very often the requirements of such tasks advance faster than the performance of new compute hardware, increasing the gap in between application and compute hardware. This observation is emphasized by the slowing-down of Moore’s law, which used to deliver constant performance scaling over decades.

Furthermore, to address uncertainty, limited data, and to improve in general the robustness of ML, new methods are required, with examples including Bayesian approaches, sum-product networks, capsule networks, graph-based neural networks, and many more. One can observe that, compared with deep convolutional neural networks, computations can be fundamentally different, compute requirements can substantially increase, and underlying properties like structure in computation are often lost.

As a result, we observe a strong need for new ML methods to address the requirements of emerging workloads deployed in the real-world, such as uncertainty, robustness, and limited data. In order to not hinder the deployment of such methods on various computing devices, and to address the gap in between application and compute hardware, we furthermore need a variety of tools. As such, this workshop proposal gears to gather new ideas and concepts on 

Similarly, the workshop also gears to serve as a platform that gathers experts from ML and systems for joint tackling of these problems, creating an atmosphere of open discussions and other interactions.

Topics of Interest

Topics of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

Important Dates (updated)

Please see here for conference registration deadlines, including rules for ealy registration: 


Papers must be written in English and formatted according to the Springer LNCS guidelines. Author instructions, style files and the copyright form can be downloaded here: 

Submissions may not exceed 12 pages in PDF format for full papers, respectively 6 pages for short papers, including figures and references. Submitted papers must be original work that has not appeared in and is not under consideration for another conference or journal. Work in progress is welcome, but first results should be made available as a proof of concept. Submissions only consisting of a proposal will be rejected. 

The workshop does not have formal proceedings, so accepted papers do not preclude publishing at future conferences and/or journals. Accepted papers will be posted on the workshop's website. The workshop co-organizers are exploring the option of co-editing a special journal issue, for which selected contributions from the workshop will be invited.

Submission site: 

Program Committee


All times in CET. ITEM will be a virtual event, as all of ECML-PKDD is. Zoom will be used as plattform, with details to be found in Whova (see main conference) and communicated to presenters.

(*) joint presentation


This workshop is envisioned as a counterpart to the highly successful workshop series on embedded machine learning (WEML), held annually at Heidelberg University (for the latest edition, see The two workshop formats complement each other, as WEML is highly discussion-oriented, invitation-only, without requirements on scientific novelty, results or publications. In contrast, ITEM is envisioned as a high-quality academic outlet, including results demonstrating at least the potential of presented work, and with a healthy mix of peer-reviewed contributions and invited talks.



Program Chair