Towards Disentangling Non-Robust and Robust Components in Performance MetricDownload PDF

25 Sep 2019 (modified: 24 Dec 2019)ICLR 2020 Conference Blind SubmissionReaders: Everyone
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  • TL;DR: We show the relation between standard performance and adversarial robustness by disentangling the non-robust and robust components in a proposed performance metric.
  • Abstract: The vulnerability to slight input perturbations is a worrying yet intriguing property of deep neural networks (DNNs). Though some efforts have been devoted to investigating the reason behind such adversarial behavior, the relation between standard accuracy and adversarial behavior of DNNs is still little understood. In this work, we reveal such relation by first introducing a metric characterizing the standard performance of DNNs. Then we theoretically show this metric can be disentangled into an information-theoretic non-robust component that is related to adversarial behavior, and a robust component. Then, we show by experiments that DNNs under standard training rely heavily on optimizing the non-robust component in achieving decent performance. We also demonstrate current state-of-the-art adversarial training algorithms indeed try to robustify DNNs by preventing them from using the non-robust component to distinguish samples from different categories. Based on our findings, we take a step forward and point out the possible direction of simultaneously achieving decent standard generalization and adversarial robustness. It is hoped that our theory can further inspire the community to make more interesting discoveries about the relation between standard accuracy and adversarial robustness of DNNs.
  • Keywords: adversarial examples, robust machine learning
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