Higher-Order Certification For Randomized Smoothing

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Jeet Mohapatra, Ching-Yun Ko, Tsui-Wei Weng, Pin-Yu Chen, Sijia Liu, Luca Daniel


Randomized smoothing is a recently proposed defense against adversarial attacks that has achieved state-of-the-art provable robustness against $\ell_2$ perturbations. A number of works have extended the guarantees to other metrics, such as $\ell_1$ or $\ell_\infty$, by using different smoothing measures. Although the current framework has been shown to yield near-optimal $\ell_p$ radii, the total safety region certified by the current framework can be arbitrarily small compared to the optimal. In this work, we propose a framework to improve the certified safety region for these smoothed classifiers without changing the underlying smoothing scheme. The theoretical contributions are as follows: 1) We generalize the certification for randomized smoothing by reformulating certified radius calculation as a nested optimization problem over a class of functions. 2) We provide a method to calculate the certified safety region using zeroth-order and first-order information for Gaussian-smoothed classifiers. We also provide a framework that generalizes the calculation for certification using higher-order information. 3) We design efficient, high-confidence estimators for the relevant statistics of the first-order information. Combining the theoretical contribution 2) and 3) allows us to certify safety region that are significantly larger than ones provided by the current methods. On CIFAR and Imagenet, the new regions achieve significant improvements on general $\ell_1$ certified radii and on the $\ell_2$ certified radii for color-space attacks ($\ell_2$ perturbation restricted to only one color/channel) while also achieving smaller improvements on the general $\ell_2$ certified radii. As discussed in the future works section, our framework can also provide a way to circumvent the current impossibility results on achieving higher magnitudes of certified radii without requiring the use of data-dependent smoothing techniques.