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Keywords: Manifold-based Defense, Robust Learning, Adversarial Attacks
Abstract: ML algorithms or models, especially deep neural networks (DNNs), have shown significant promise in several areas. However, recently researchers have demonstrated that ML algorithms, especially DNNs, are vulnerable to adversarial examples (slightly perturbed samples that cause mis-classification). Existence of adversarial examples has hindered deployment of ML algorithms in safety-critical sectors, such as security. Several defenses for adversarial examples exist in the literature. One of the important classes of defenses are manifold-based defenses, where a sample is "pulled back" into the data manifold before classifying. These defenses rely on the manifold assumption (data lie in a manifold of lower dimension than the input space). These defenses use a generative model to approximate the input distribution. This paper asks the following question: do the generative models used in manifold-based defenses need to be topology-aware? Our paper suggests the answer is yes. We provide theoretical and empirical evidence to support our claim.