Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)
Alexander Levine, Soheil Feizi
Patch adversarial attacks on images, in which the attacker can distort pixels within a region of bounded size, are an important threat model since they provide a quantitative model for physical adversarial attacks. In this paper, we introduce a certifiable defense against patch attacks that guarantees for a given image and patch attack size, no patch adversarial examples exist. Our method is related to the broad class of randomized smoothing robustness schemes which provide high-confidence probabilistic robustness certificates. By exploiting the fact that patch attacks are more constrained than general sparse attacks, we derive meaningfully large robustness certificates against them. Additionally, in contrast to smoothing-based defenses against L_p and sparse attacks, our defense method against patch attacks is de-randomized, yielding improved, deterministic certificates. Compared to the existing patch certification method proposed by (Chiang et al., 2020), which relies on interval bound propagation, our method can be trained significantly faster, achieves high clean and certified robust accuracy on CIFAR-10, and provides certificates at ImageNet scale. For example, for a 5-by-5 patch attack on CIFAR-10, our method achieves up to around 57.6% certified accuracy (with a classifier with around 83.8% clean accuracy), compared to at most 30.3% certified accuracy for the existing method (with a classifier with around 47.8% clean accuracy). Our results effectively establish a new state-of-the-art of certifiable defense against patch attacks on CIFAR-10 and ImageNet.