Maximization of Average Precision for Deep Learning with Adversarial Ranking Robustness

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Gang Li, Wei Tong, Tianbao Yang


This paper seeks to address a gap in optimizing Average Precision (AP) while ensuring adversarial robustness, an area that has not been extensively explored to the best of our knowledge. AP maximization for deep learning has widespread applications, particularly when there is a significant imbalance between positive and negative examples. Although numerous studies have been conducted on adversarial training, they primarily focus on robustness concerning accuracy, ensuring that the average accuracy on adversarially perturbed examples is well maintained. However, this type of adversarial robustness is insufficient for many applications, as minor perturbations on a single example can significantly impact AP while not greatly influencing the accuracy of the prediction system. To tackle this issue, we introduce a novel formulation that combines an AP surrogate loss with a regularization term representing adversarial ranking robustness, which maintains the consistency between ranking of clean data and that of perturbed data. We then devise an efficient stochastic optimization algorithm to optimize the resulting objective. Our empirical studies, which compare our method to current leading adversarial training baselines and other robust AP maximization strategies, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Notably, our methods outperform a state-of-the-art method (TRADES) by more than 4\% in terms of robust AP against PGD attacks while achieving 7\% higher AP on clean data simultaneously on CIFAR10 and CIFAR100.The code is available at: