Provable Unrestricted Adversarial Training without Compromise with Generalizability

22 Jan 2023  ·  Lilin Zhang, Ning Yang, Yanchao Sun, Philip S. Yu ·

Adversarial training (AT) is widely considered as the most promising strategy to defend against adversarial attacks and has drawn increasing interest from researchers. However, the existing AT methods still suffer from two challenges. First, they are unable to handle unrestricted adversarial examples (UAEs), which are built from scratch, as opposed to restricted adversarial examples (RAEs), which are created by adding perturbations bound by an $l_p$ norm to observed examples. Second, the existing AT methods often achieve adversarial robustness at the expense of standard generalizability (i.e., the accuracy on natural examples) because they make a tradeoff between them. To overcome these challenges, we propose a unique viewpoint that understands UAEs as imperceptibly perturbed unobserved examples. Also, we find that the tradeoff results from the separation of the distributions of adversarial examples and natural examples. Based on these ideas, we propose a novel AT approach called Provable Unrestricted Adversarial Training (PUAT), which can provide a target classifier with comprehensive adversarial robustness against both UAE and RAE, and simultaneously improve its standard generalizability. Particularly, PUAT utilizes partially labeled data to achieve effective UAE generation by accurately capturing the natural data distribution through a novel augmented triple-GAN. At the same time, PUAT extends the traditional AT by introducing the supervised loss of the target classifier into the adversarial loss and achieves the alignment between the UAE distribution, the natural data distribution, and the distribution learned by the classifier, with the collaboration of the augmented triple-GAN. Finally, the solid theoretical analysis and extensive experiments conducted on widely-used benchmarks demonstrate the superiority of PUAT.

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