Adversarially Robust Spiking Neural Networks Through Conversion

Published: 12 Apr 2024, Last Modified: 12 Apr 2024Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Spiking neural networks (SNNs) provide an energy-efficient alternative to a variety of artificial neural network (ANN) based AI applications. As the progress in neuromorphic computing with SNNs expands their use in applications, the problem of adversarial robustness of SNNs becomes more pronounced. To the contrary of the widely explored end-to-end adversarial training based solutions, we address the limited progress in scalable robust SNN training methods by proposing an adversarially robust ANN-to-SNN conversion algorithm. Our method provides an efficient approach to embrace various computationally demanding robust learning objectives that have been proposed for ANNs. During a post-conversion robust finetuning phase, our method adversarially optimizes both layer-wise firing thresholds and synaptic connectivity weights of the SNN to maintain transferred robustness gains from the pre-trained ANN. We perform experimental evaluations in a novel setting proposed to rigorously assess the robustness of SNNs, where numerous adaptive adversarial attacks that account for the spike-based operation dynamics are considered. Results show that our approach yields a scalable state-of-the-art solution for adversarially robust deep SNNs with low-latency.
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Blake_Aaron_Richards1
Submission Number: 2040