Keywords: Subset selection, Robust learning
TL;DR: Develops robust learning strategy where a subset of instances are selectively chosen for perturbation and the selection strategy is never revealed to the learner.
Abstract: Robustness to adversarial perturbations often comes at the cost of a drop in accuracy on unperturbed or clean instances. Most existing defense mechanisms attempt to defend the learner from attack on all possible instances, which often degrades the accuracy on clean instances significantly. However, in practice, an attacker might only select a small subset of instances to attack, $e.g.$, in facial recognition systems an adversary might aim to target specific faces. Moreover, the subset selection strategy of the attacker is seldom known to the defense mechanism a priori, making it challenging to attune the mechanism beforehand. This motivates designing defense mechanisms which can (i) defend against attacks on subsets instead of all instances to prevent degradation of clean accuracy and, (ii) ensure good overall performance for attacks on any selected subset. In this work, we take a step towards solving this problem. We cast the training problem as a min-max game involving worst-case subset selection along with optimization of model parameters, rendering the problem NP-hard. To tackle this, we first show that, for a given learner's model, the objective can be expressed as a difference between a $\gamma$-weakly submodular and a modular function. We use this property to propose ROGET, an iterative algorithm, which admits approximation guarantees for a class of loss functions. Our experiments show that ROGET obtains better overall accuracy compared to several state-of-the-art defense methods for different adversarial subset selection techniques.
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