Multi-scale Diffusion Denoised Smoothing

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: adversarial robustness, certified robustness, randomized smoothing, denoised smoothing, diffusion models
TL;DR: Overcoming the robustness-accuracy trade-off by combining smoothed classifiers of different scales.
Abstract: Along with recent diffusion models, randomized smoothing has become one of a few tangible approaches that offers adversarial robustness to models at scale, e.g., those of large pre-trained models. Specifically, one can perform randomized smoothing on any classifier via a simple "denoise-and-classify" pipeline, so-called denoised smoothing, given that an accurate denoiser is available - such as diffusion model. In this paper, we present scalable methods to address the current trade-off between certified robustness and accuracy in denoised smoothing. Our key idea is to "selectively" apply smoothing among multiple noise scales, coined multi-scale smoothing, which can be efficiently implemented with a single diffusion model. This approach also suggests a new objective to compare the collective robustness of multi-scale smoothed classifiers, and questions which representation of diffusion model would maximize the objective. To address this, we propose to further fine-tune diffusion model (a) to perform consistent denoising whenever the original image is recoverable, but (b) to generate rather diverse outputs otherwise. Our experiments show that the proposed multi-scale smoothing scheme, combined with diffusion fine-tuning, not only allows strong certified robustness at high noise scales but also maintains accuracy close to non-smoothed classifiers. Code is available at
Submission Number: 11005