Formal verification of neural networks for safety-critical tasks in deep reinforcement learning
Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, PMLR 161:333-343, 2021.
In the last years, neural networks achieved groundbreaking successes in a wide variety of applications. However, for safety critical tasks, such as robotics and healthcare, it is necessary to provide some specific guarantees before the deployment in a real world context. Even in these scenarios, where high cost equipment and human safety are involved, the evaluation of the models is usually performed with the standard metrics (i.e., cumulative reward or success rate). In this paper, we introduce a novel metric for the evaluation of models in safety critical tasks, the violation rate. We build our work upon the concept of formal verification for neural networks, providing a new formulation for the safety properties that aims to ensure that the agent always makes rational decisions. To perform this evaluation, we present ProVe (Property Verifier), a novel approach based on the interval algebra, designed for the analysis of our novel behavioral properties. We apply our method to different domains (i.e., mapless navigation for mobile robots, trajectory generation for manipulators, and the standard ACAS benchmark). Results show that the violation rate computed by ProVe provides a good evaluation for the safety of trained models.