Wasserstein Smoothing: Certified Robustness against Wasserstein Adversarial Attacks


Alexander Levine, Soheil Feizi ;
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:3938-3947, 2020.


In the last couple of years, several adversarial attack methods based on different threat models have been proposed for the image classification problem. Most existing defenses consider additive threat models in which sample perturbations have bounded L_p norms. These defenses, however, can be vulnerable against adversarial attacks under non-additive threat models. An example of an attack method based on a non-additive threat model is the Wasserstein adversarial attack proposed by Wong et al. (2019), where the distance between an image and its adversarial example is determined by the Wasserstein metric ("earth-mover distance") between their normalized pixel intensities. Until now, there has been no certifiable defense against this type of attack. In this work, we propose the first defense with certified robustness against Wasserstein adversarial attacks using randomized smoothing. We develop this certificate by considering the space of possible flows between images, and representing this space such that Wasserstein distance between images is upper-bounded by L_1 distance in this flow-space. We can then apply existing randomized smoothing certificates for the L_1 metric. In MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets, we find that our proposed defense is also practically effective, demonstrating significantly improved accuracy under Wasserstein adversarial attack compared to unprotected models.

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