Collaborating Authors

When NAS Meets Robustness: In Search of Robust Architectures against Adversarial Attacks Machine Learning

Recent advances in adversarial attacks uncover the intrinsic vulnerability of modern deep neural networks. Since then, extensive efforts have been devoted to enhancing the robustness of deep networks via specialized learning algorithms and loss functions. In this work, we take an architectural perspective and investigate the patterns of network architectures that are resilient to adversarial attacks. To obtain the large number of networks needed for this study, we adopt one-shot neural architecture search, training a large network for once and then finetuning the sub-networks sampled therefrom. The sampled architectures together with the accuracies they achieve provide a rich basis for our study. Our "robust architecture Odyssey" reveals several valuable observations: 1) densely connected patterns result in improved robustness; 2) under computational budget, adding convolution operations to direct connection edge is effective; 3) flow of solution procedure (FSP) matrix is a good indicator of network robustness. Based on these observations, we discover a family of robust architectures (RobNets). On various datasets, including CIFAR, SVHN, and Tiny-ImageNet, RobNets exhibit superior robustness performance to other widely used architectures. Notably, RobNets substantially improve the robust accuracy (~5% absolute gains) under both white-box and black-box attacks, even with fewer parameter numbers.

Structural Robustness for Deep Learning Architectures


Deep Networks have been shown to provide state-of-the-art performance in many machine learning challenges. Unfortunately, they are susceptible to various types of noise, including adversarial attacks and corrupted inputs. In this work we introduce a formal definition of robustness which can be viewed as a localized Lipschitz constant of the network function, quantified in the domain of the data to be classified. We compare this notion of robustness to existing ones, and study its connections with methods in the literature. We evaluate this metric by performing experiments on various competitive vision datasets.

Are All Layers Created Equal? Machine Learning

Understanding learning and generalization of deep architectures has been a major research objective in the recent years with notable theoretical progress. A main focal point of generalization studies stems from the success of excessively large networks which defy the classical wisdom of uniform convergence and learnability. We study empirically the layer-wise functional structure of overparameterized deep models. We provide evidence for the heterogeneous characteristic of layers. To do so, we introduce the notion of (post training) re-initialization and re-randomization robustness. We show that layers can be categorized into either `robust' or `critical'. In contrast to critical layers, resetting the robust layers to their initial value has no negative consequence, and in many cases they barely change throughout training. Our study provides further evidence that mere parameter counting or norm accounting is too coarse in studying generalization of deep models, and flatness or robustness analysis of the model parameters needs to respect the network architectures.


AAAI Conferences

Deep neural network (DNN) architecture based models have high expressive power and learning capacity. However, they are essentially a black box method since it is not easy to mathematically formulate the functions that are learned within its many layers of representation. Realizing this, many researchers have started to design methods to exploit the drawbacks of deep learning based algorithms questioning their robustness and exposing their singularities. In this paper, we attempt to unravel three aspects related to the robustness of DNNs for face recognition: (i) assessing the impact of deep architectures for face recognition in terms of vulnerabilities to attacks inspired by commonly observed distortions in the real world that are well handled by shallow learning methods along with learning based adversaries; (ii) detecting the singularities by characterizing abnormal filter response behavior in the hidden layers of deep networks; and (iii) making corrections to the processing pipeline to alleviate the problem. Our experimental evaluation using multiple open-source DNN-based face recognition networks, including OpenFace and VGG-Face, and two publicly available databases (MEDS and PaSC) demonstrates that the performance of deep learning based face recognition algorithms can suffer greatly in the presence of such distortions. The proposed method is also compared with existing detection algorithms and the results show that it is able to detect the attacks with very high accuracy by suitably designing a classifier using the response of the hidden layers in the network. Finally, we present several effective countermeasures to mitigate the impact of adversarial attacks and improve the overall robustness of DNN-based face recognition.